Restaurants create more reasons to visit and stay.

When it comes to food, people love choices.

For many, the days of preparing every meal at home are long gone. A drive around Garden City brings proof of as much in many packed restaurant parking lots.

And now, restaurant patrons can expect still more to choose from when it comes to local eateries, as a community with great and diverse dining opportunities is in line for an expanded menu of options.

During Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony for the new Schulman Crossing retail project in Garden City, developer John Collett gave the public a sampling of what could be ahead in new restaurants at the shopping center.

He cited Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill as the kind of places that could work out.

"Those types of tenants are who we're going to try to get here to have a good mix of restaurants, small shops and boutiques that make for a great shopping center," Collett said.

The restaurants would be located in a development already featuring the new Menards, as well as planned stores in T.J. Maxx, Petco, Cato Fashion, Dick's Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, Ross Dress for Less and Ulta Cosmetics.

Space remains for more new tenants of the retail and dining variety.

When it comes to quality of life reasons for people to come here to visit or stay the number of places to eat out often ranks as a high priority.

With more restaurants on the way, we also would expect the competition to spur operators of existing dining establishments to seek new ways to bring patrons through their doors. As they look to capitalize on their own strengths, some might tinker with their menus, or promote price changes and other special deals.

Regardless of the strategies, the end result usually is good for hungry consumers.

We know a proliferation of storefronts gives people more reasons to visit. Ditto for places to eat.

Garden City will have many nice choices on its plate when it comes to luring consumers still more progress toward the city cementing its place as an appealing destination for shopping and dining.