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Study shows real reason why people love their favorite restaurant

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DENVER -- The Denver metro area has a lot of restaurants. More than 6,000, give or take a few.

The competition for the dining dollar is fierce.

"Because Denver is on the cutting edge of culinary skills," said H.G. Parsa with the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.

According to a recent study by Daniels College of Business, the No. 1 reason you go to your favorite eatery is not because of the food. It's the ambiance.

Ambiance is defined as an aura, a climate or mood. Is mood more important that food?

"Food you must have, ambiance makes it better," Parsa said.

The study says you're not going to McDonald's for ambiance, but if you are going to spend some serious cash, you're going to want some character.

"Why? Because ambiance and service are tangible. People can see it," Parsa said.

Parsa said that has been the mistake of many a great chef, thinking that great food is all you need to make a great restaurant.