North Texas Daily

Taste of North Texas brings local restaurants to campus

Taste of North Texas brings local restaurants to campus

March 29
09:45 2013

Michael Wood


Hundreds of people crowded into the spacious, circular foyer of the Super Pit. There were booths featuring bright signs, thumping music  blasting and models in short shorts while others were quiet and methodical. There was something there for everyone and every taste was suited.

The 24th annual Taste of North Texas show came to the UNT Coliseum last night, boasting 40 of Denton’s best restaurants including Beth Marie’s, Abbey Inn and Davis Purity Bakery.

The show was organized by the Denton Kiwanis Club, which offers free or low-cost healthcare to Denton-area children, and served as a fundraiser for their Children’s Clinic.

“This is a community event that many people look forward to,” said Robin Olson, Kiwanis Club executive director. “It’s one of our most popular fundraisers.”

Olson said the total cost of running the show is about $3,000 for renting the venue and advertising. The food and labor were donated by the participating restaurants. Olson said the event raises about $12,000 to $14,000 profit every year.

“People like to try new things, and this gives the local restaurants great promotion,” Olson said.

The Kiwanis Club has few requirements and regulations, making it simple and convenient for many businesses to participate. Every local restaurant is invited to join in the show and the only requirement is the submission of an application. They do not require the restaurant to provide a specific amount of food.

“Denton has a really strong sense of community, and this event really celebrates local Denton food,” said Margaret Rich, Beth Marie’s general manager.

Rich said there are very real, measurable benefits for a participating business. Simple brand exposure and showing the people of Denton what the restaurant offers results in an approximate 2- to 3- percent increase in business every year following the Taste of North Texas.

“It’s crazy, but there are some people in Denton who have never heard of Beth Marie’s,” Rich said.

Although they see a definite increase in sales, the success of their presence at the tasting event is measured through coupons distributed at their booth which eventually find their way back to the restaurant.

Attendee Bo Meyer said he enjoyed some food from places where he wouldn’t have dined otherwise but now plans to give them his business. The fundraiser was his primary goal, however.

“Of course I came here to eat the great food,” Meyer said. “But mainly to support the causes of the Kiwanis Club.”

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