Participants in the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) Guest Service Processes and Outcomes Roundtable examined this critical connection, with an eye to improving sales. They discussed research that showed that working to make sure that guests are highly satisfied is worth the trouble, because highly satisfied guests are more loyal and spend more money than those who are merely satisfied. The CHR roundtable, held in September 2009, was chaired by Alex Susskind, an associate professor at the School of Hotel Administration.

Developing a strong service culture depends on a factor that roundtable presenter Rick Garlick terms employee engagement. Garlick, director of consulting and strategic implementation of Maritz Research, explained that employers need to gain their employees' perspective and insight as part of building a strong service culture. In a related presentation, Joe Cardador, chief information officer of Service Management Group, showed the importance of moving guests from a "zone of indifference," in which they are merely satisfied, to a "zone of affection," in which they are highly satisfied. Cardador explained that highly satisfied guests were twice as likely to return to a restaurant as those who were just satisfied with their experience