Businesses often run off of the same sort of processes because they are cost effective and create value for customers. Companies in the same genre typically use the same type of processes. While this is great for managing a business it isn't always so great for making memorable businesses. People get used to the same old processes and consumers view the businesses pretty much as the same except for the brand associated with them. How does one break the similarity gridlock that doesn't allow a business to differentiate itself?
Think about the little things your competitors are not thinking about. What does that mean? Well it means creating a theme for your business, offering something small the customers isn't expecting, or going out of your way to do something special for the customer.
It doesn't need to be big or expensive. It could be something simple as bringing extra napkins to kids sitting at a table, or providing an unexpected free desert when the server overhears something about a birthday. It is about doing one, just one, extra thing for the customer they don't expect.
That is the key. Do something they don't expect so they can remember it. Businesses spend a lot of money trying to brand themselves and serve their customers. Yet many don't simply build that one little interesting thing that helps customers return.
You may end up finding that as the positive feelings associated with the extra effort are encoded in the brain with a unique situation the customer is more likely to recall this situation and feeling more readily. That recall and feeling is what creates repeat customers and improves sales. They become attracted to repeating the experience again so make sure you are changing up your approach.