Every six months a young girl visited her dentist. Afterward, as a special reward, her father would treated her to a pound of jelly beans. He'd offer his young daughter the choice of two candy stores. And she tried each store once, but from the third time forward, she always chose the same store. Curious, the father asked her why.
"Simple," she answered. "I like to go to the store that gives me more."
"How could that be?" he wondered. Each merchant had given her exactly one pound of jelly beans.
With the infinite wisdom of a child, she explained. "The first man put the jelly beans on the scale and then he took some away. The second man put the jelly beans on the scale and then he gave me some more."
Value is believing you got more. Your guests determine the value you give. And, creating value is the difference between a one time customer and a loyal customer.
Do you give your guests more than they paid for—more than they hoped for? Is your service staff extra attentive? Are the flowers on the table fresh and bright? Does your plate presentation have extra flair? Is the side of French fries piled extra high? Are the restrooms clean and pleasant? Do you smile and invite your guests to come back and visit again soon?
Alone, each of these things might seem insignificant. But think of them like the jelly beans. Start with the basics of good food at a good price. Add "extras" one by one, just like the jelly beans. Your guests, just like the little girl, will appreciate the value you offer. And they'll remember it the next time they're deciding where to eat.