I also saw Chef Ripert in a cooking show episode last night, and he said something during a meal that really hit home. He said (and I'm paraphrasing a bit, but the essential ideas are here): That people really want during a great meal "...to be surprised, and to have an experience." Yes and yes! One of the great delights I have when going to a restaurant is to see something new/different on the menu. And when I try this new "thing" and it's wonderful -- yes! (I recently had this experience at the French Garden Restaurant, in Sebastopol. I tried, for the first time, the Salmon Rillette, and WOW -- fantastic...to the point where I've sought out the perfect glass of wine to go with it, for the next time I visit.)
Best of all, this applies to almost EVERY customer-interaction. People want to be (pleasantly) suprised (at the quality of customer service) and have a (great buying) experience.
Want your restaurant -- or business -- to grow? Create surprise and a great experience for your customers, and it will.