I would like to see more variety in our Crestview restaurants. Competition spurs quality, and having more competition would continue to ensure high-quality food and more choices for local diners.

There appears to be a need for independent and chain restaurants, both of which have advantages. For instance, an independent restaurant has the freedom to have a true "chef's special" as well as try out new recipes and see how their patrons respond. A chain has the ability to buy in bulk and get lower prices for their products, which may in turn lower the cost to their customers. It seems to me that we could use both types of restaurants in our town.

Several of my friends prefer independent restaurants because they like to help out small businesses, but one thing to keep in mind is that a franchise is also a small business.

I think the Wild Olive has consistently delicious food and I am always happy to dine there as I know I will have an outstanding meal. I was pleased that Mia's Italian Restaurant has re-opened and David's Catfish House is a favorite.

Our family enjoys Cracker Barrel, as they serve good food and a portion that is enough to satisfy most appetites. One also knows what to expect from Waffle House, Applebee's, Panera Bread, McAlister's Deli, and so on.

All of the restaurants in our town help our local economy by providing jobs and revenue, so we need to patronize our local restaurants and not drive to Destin or Fort Walton Beach. One way this could be accomplished is with additional restaurants such as Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, as well as additional independent restaurants.

In order to attract new restaurants and other businesses, Crestview needs to work on the infrastructure. Not many investors will want to open a new business and have potential customers frustrated because of the traffic.

So, let's get to work and get our traffic snarls straightened out, then we can look forward to new restaurants and businesses. By having more of a variety of restaurants here in town, we won't have the need to drive out of town for an enjoyable night out.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.