It was a day of music, fun and food, and plenty of it. This was Beau Johnson's first time experiencing the Taste of Chico. "It's like too much food and too much to drink so what more could you ask for" Johnson said.
As our nation slowly finds it's way out of a recession, events like this one are crucial in helping local restaurants draw more customers in. "It showcases really the very very best parts of our community in terms of food, music, beverage and people" said Katrina Davis-Woodcox, DCBA Executive Director.
15,000 people feasted on samples, 200 businesses took part in this year's event. Some restaurants many visitors didn't even know about. "This lets you explore the diversity and see what you like and I've seen a lot of places that I didn't even know existed" said Chico resident William Kelvin.
But it also brings customers back to their favorite restaurant. "it gives people an opportunity to reconnect on a relatively small budget" Davis-Woodcox". A connection that's hard to come by during tough economic times when people slow down on dinning out. Many restaurant owners say that giving out samples helps secure that customers will come back wanting more. "even when they just get a little taste of it, they're gonna know that this is good food" said Panighetti's waitress Kaleena Bell-Hans. And the tactic seems to be working. "Crush has a new appetizer today, I want to go back and try it again" said Johnson.
Ticket sales were slightly up from last year's event. Taste of Chico organizers are hoping that turns into more people dinning out in the future, making this event a win win for everyone.