There's a famous scene from Goodfellas where Henry impresses Karen by walking her into a club through the back entrance; instead of waiting in line, they're greeted by the club's owner, who shakes Henry's hand and orders a special table brought to the front row.
We drove to Norwood tonight to have dinner at Abbondanza. When we arrived, the restaurant was full -- and the hostess had no record of our reservation. But the waitresses all recognized us; and five minutes later, they had carried a table from the back and we sat down. I don't know that I felt exactly like Henry Hill, but I was reminded of that scene. It was pretty cool.
I've written a lot about supporting local business, and I've given a lot of reasons. But here's another: You can't beat the perks of being a regular at the neighborhood restaurant.