Hyatt Place Wants To See If They Can Get Away With Not Offering Free Breakfast

Sometimes I really don’t get what big companies are thinking. Hyatt Place is one of Hyatt’s limited service brands. When I think of limited service hotels, the first thing that typically comes to mind is free breakfast. Whether it’s Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn or Fairfield Inn & Suites, that’s a pretty standard amenity. Up until recently, all Hyatt Place properties offered free breakfast.

It looks like Hyatt is now testing something new, per View from the Wing. Some Hyatt Place properties in the US have started charging for breakfast. The fee is $10 per room — at some hotels that’s the cost for breakfast at all, and at other hotels that’s the cost to buy-up from a continental breakfast to a hot breakfast. I guess they’re trying to test out if either concept gets non-horrible feedback. That cost is per room and not per person, so the price isn’t necessarily that crazy. However, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re eliminating a core element of the brand.

While there’s not a master list of hotels that are participating in this trial, individual hotel websites should indicate whether breakfast is free or not. For example, the Hyatt Place Dallas-North clearly states that they charge for breakfast.

World of Hyatt Globalist members receive free breakfast at Hyatt Place properties that are taking part in this test. Technically Globalist members aren’t entitled to free breakfast at Hyatt Place per the terms, but that’s because historically everyone has received free breakfast at these hotels.

Hyatt says that those who made their reservations prior to February 1, 2018, will continue to receive a free hot breakfast even at hotels that are part of this trial. Hyatt will be looking at guest feedback to determine the best breakfast offering for Hyatt Place hotels in the US.

Having never worked in the corporate world, I’m always fascinated by how companies use “guest feedback.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that a negative change is being made as a result of “guest feedback,” I’d use that money to just fly the Etihad Residence everywhere. Obviously statistics can be manipulated and I’m guessing what they’re looking for here isn’t whether the feedback is good or bad, but rather how bad it is.

In fairness, there are already a few limited service brands that don’t offer complimentary breakfast, including Aloft and Courtyard. While I get the Aloft concept (since the properties are unique and have a specific style), I can’t say I’ve ever understood the Courtyard brand. While I know they’re trying to improve the quality of the properties, they just seem to me like a limited service brand without unique character or free breakfast.

One other interesting trend the past few years is that I feel like limited service hotels aren’t actually much cheaper than full service hotels anymore. It used to be that they were significantly cheaper, but I don’t find that to be the case anymore. So when you eliminate something like free breakfast, you really eliminate the benefit of staying at one.

Obviously hotels would love if people responded positively to this, as it would lead to a new revenue stream and also a significant cost savings. It would make it much easier for Hyatt to sell the Hyatt Place concept to investors, given that it would improve margins.

If you’re staying at a Hyatt Place that’s participating in this pilot program, make sure you fill out your post-stay survey and give them the feedback they deserve.

Would free breakfast being eliminated change your willingness to stay at Hyatt Place properties?

Comments

  1. I think there are two tiers of limited service hotels (and I think there is some industry jargon naming convention for each) — Courtyard is in line with places like Four Points and Hilton Garden Inn, which are slightly fancier and don’t offer free breakfast, and often do offer certain other basic services, like a limited room service offering. Then there are the cheaper places like Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place which are further down and do offer free breakfast.

    FWIW Hyatt Place’s free breakfast is a lot better quality than that of any other free breakfast-type hotel I know of, and at some properties the entire property is a step up from the likes of a Garden Inn. So I could imagine Hyatt Place trying to move up into that upper tier, especially since it’s otherwise fairly similar to a Hyatt House, which does have the lower-end breakfast offering and general vibe. But given how confusingly close these two categories are already, it’s kind of hard to move a brand from one to the other.

  2. P.S. the most confusing thing about Courtyard is that even Marriott Platinums don’t get free breakfast there, which makes no sense at all. Hilton does distinguish benefits among its brands somewhat, but at least Hilton Golds and Diamonds still get free breakfast at Garden Inns.

  3. To be honest, I stay at a LOT of Hyatt Places and I don’t often have the breakfast. It’s just not that good. I’d rather pay $10 less on the room rate and get a decent breakfast somewhere else. The Hyatt House breakfasts are pretty decent though.

  4. I lost my Globalist status this year. I was planning to stay at Hyatt Place properties to get the stay credit and the free breakfast but this does it for me. I’ll start looking at another Hotel Loyality program. This is just BS! This is lowering the bar and testing the waters. Next you know, other chains will follow the suit.

  5. Hyatt forgot how these type of hotels with free breakfast came about. We could expense up to a certain amount without receipt. It used to be $5 at my company. So, you would stay at a Hampton, get free breakfast, then expense $5 for breakfast. It covered any incidentals that you paid for but couldn’t expense. Some companies wouldn’t let you expense breakfast, so Hamptons and the like got really popular with the biz traveler on a tight expense accounts. My state expense account will pay for the hotel and a $45 a day per diem. So, you get real used to picking hotels with free breakfast. I have no Hyatt status. Hyatt Place just became uncompetitive.

    Travel with a family and $10 per room isn’t too bad. Travel solo, and you end up paying for a breakfast you might not get expensed.

  6. I don’t like being 5 and dimed. $10 doesn’t cover the cost. It saves me around $50 as a perk. Offer it or don’t offer it. If I have to try to figure it out by reading some new fine print, BYE.

  7. @ Corey — Agree the breakfasts aren’t great, though I think there’s exactly a 0% chance that this change would lead to room rates decreasing by $10 per night.

  8. I wasn’t offered a post breakfast stay and the hostess didn’t tell me about one when she took my ticket…I guess that’s what they think of an actual survey…

  9. To be honest, I have never understood why hotels regularly offer a “breakfast included” rate that is far higher than the regular room rate. Is it because people staying on business trips are booking to a corporate account – and either just have to go with the lowest rate (so hotel really has to show lowest cost to beat other hotels) or conversely no one cares, and the hotel can get away with charging $25 to add breakfast? When traveling on business, I rarely get to have a leisurely breakfast. My morning meetings will typically include a light breakfast. So as a business traveler, I rarely get to take advantage of hotel breakfast (coffee in the lobby is ALWAYS appreciated). When travelling on my own dime, I rarely find breakfast rates worth booking (unless through AMEX FHR – or some program like this) because on my own and when at my leisure, I can find a cheaper, better breakfast most of the time. So my guess is that most guests are not taking advantage of the free breakfast and Hyatt doesn’t think business will suffer. Still sucks though, if Hyatt is removing a benefit.

    TL;DR Although breakfast is a nice perk, as a business traveler, it is usually not a perk I get to take advantage of. And as a leisure traveler, the upsell is usually not worth it.

  10. I stay at a lot of Hyatt Places and most of the US locations serve disgusting breakfast anyway. As long as I can get a cup of coffee in the lobby, they can keep the breakfast.

  11. Many people that stay at Hyatt Place stay there because it is clean and they serve free breakfast. I don’t spend my money at Hyatt so I couldn’t care less but feel they are going the United route here. Too bad they have decided to kill a really nice brand.

  12. I just spent 5 nights at Hyatt Place Park City, the first time I stayed at a Hyatt Place brand hotel and I was shocked with the poor quality of their breakfast. Besides, this brand has no room service, nor a restaurant. Not what you expect of a Hyatt property. Not going back.

  13. Hyatt Place breakfasts are disgusting.

    Their kitchen skillet concept was nasty – is that still a thing?

    The Hyatt Places that are newer/cleaner are actually not bad – I was on a project where the only Hyatt option was a Hyatt Place, and I was overall very satisfied with that particular property. Though I much prefer Park Hyatts. 🙂

  14. As a cost-conscious leisure traveller, I always look for a place with a free breakfast. I know that they are usually terrible, featuring reconstituted eggs and sawdust sausages, but I usually just eat toast at home anyway. I travel with a family of five, so finding a place with free breakfast saves a good bit of money. It is also very convenient to not have to go looking for a place to eat at the beginning of the day.

    So now if the choice comes down to a Hyatt Place and another property that provides free breakfast, the Hyatt place had better be more than $10 cheaper.

  15. I believe that originally Hyatt charged for some or all breakfast items after converting from AmeriSuites (which offered free breakfast of questionable quality). So this would seem more like returning to their roots. At any rate, I would love to see them do a complete reboot. The deplorable breakfast and undrinkable coffee is a big turn off. To further indicate that they know their offerings suck, they openly sell a better brand of coffee (albeit from the same parent company) as well as other breakfast items. Definitely a confusing image.

  16. The original survey might have read “would you rather have stale donuts, cold cereal, orange tang and re-heated coffee with coffee whitener for free OR pay $10 for cage-free eggs prepared to your order, all natural sausage & bacon, greek yogurt parfait, tomato bruschetta, parmesan potatoes, fresh-brewed coffee with pressed juice delivered to your room within 5 minutes after you order?” Well, I don’t eat breakfast, but I really like room service. I vote for the $10 option.

  17. @ Corey – it is not going to happen, just like when all the airlines selling basic economy, did you see that the price is lower ? By eliminating any perks would not give to the consumers, it would only benefit to the company

  18. I like the layout of Hyatt Place rooms, but the breakfast is terrible. That said, at least you have a choice of bagels, toast, various fruit, and juices. Don’t know what that stuff is that they have labeled as eggs, but I’m fairly certain it didn’t come from a chicken, and not sure if the meat (if any) was ever part of an animal either. The other quirky thing I noticed about Hyatt Places is that most of the ones I stayed, didn’t have any laundry facilities. A rather strange omission for a motel brand trying to target business travellers.

    The main reason I used to value their stays was solely for their loyalty program, using the points I earned from their lower level properties for award stays and upgrades at their nicer properties when travelling for leisure. When Hyatt dumbed down their loyalty program, I switched over to Hilton. This move just reinforces that I made the right decision.

  19. When I’m business traveling, a quick down and dirty breakfast is all I need. I wouldn’t book a property that isn’t serving breakfast as I usually don’t have the time to eat out.

  20. There is a weird anomaly in the UK where Holiday Inn Expresses (supposedly the more budget version) have a free breakfast whilst Holiday Inns do not.

  21. I’m glad I dropped Hyatt entirely after their 2017 “improvement” of their loyalty program. No more stay, neither by my staff nor myself from March 2018 onwards. The 100k USD go to Hilton and SPG now.

  22. When there are few prospects at the bar, you are more willing chat up and buy free drinks for anybody, and perhaps leave with the first willing girl/guy/whatever.

    As the crowd of prospects increases, you become more selective in spending your time and money to sell yourself… in expectation of scoring a better buyer.

    As a rising tide does indeed lift all boats, the current worldwide economic boom will find perks and incentives fading away in all industries, at least until everybody gets used to price jumps.

  23. And let us not forget how corporate America has just been given a 14% decrease in corporate taxes. Its all about profits and greed. Gee….one more example on how BiG American businesses think about how to charge you more and give you less. Hotels, airlines, insurance companies, banks, and let us not to forget our greedy pharmaceutical companies….they are all the same…..greed.

  24. IMHO Hyatt Place is the most boring hotel brand I can think of – they are basically all the same, but you get what you pay for I guess… their breakfasts are ok – but I don’t choose them for their food – and certainly not their “ambience.” As a Globalist, I avoid these properties like the plague. No suite upgrades – 2 free bottles of water… are you kidding me? Charging for breakfast just dents the Hyatt brand once again. And if Hyatt keeps trying to tell me how to think and vote, adios Hyatt.

  25. SomePilgrim you showed HUGE logical contortions with that RETARDED BAR ANALOGY!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Anyone that thinks the room will be any cheaper after the breakfast is gone is deluded. It just allows them to keep the price the same and get extra revenue from paid breakfast

  27. I sometimes stay at a Hyatt Place in Oklahoma City that strangely has a stone walkway leading up the hill to a McDonalds. I have a feeling those stairs are about to get more use if this happens there!

  28. Why you guys have such a love affair with SPG? Why Lucky think he can understand Aloft without breakfast but not courtyard? And someone think Four point is fancier than a hampton Inn? lower tier properties in SPG are crap! If not for the SPG platinum challenge I would never choose four point over hampton inn!

  29. Making a negative change after consulting customer feedback does not mean that customers supposedly loved the change – as flippant comments every time that is mentioned imply – but that the feedback implies that a net benefit will be achieved. I.e. people may dislike paying for breakfast but would still stay regardless.

  30. All Hyatt Place hotels offer free breakfast? Are you sure you don’t mean “in the USA”? I stayed at the London Heathrow Hyatt Place last year and breakfast was extra. Granted it was freshly cooked, real ingredients etc and reasonably priced, but definitely an add on to the bill. I only turned it down as I was saving stomach space for the fresh waffles at the Air Canada lounge – with real maple syrup, no less!

  31. How can i effectively complain to Hyatt about this now without an upcoming stay/
    Do you have an email where i can send a complaint?

  32. Hyatt Place’s breakfast is definitely not worth $10 as for my experience at CVG, pretty shitty, awful and lack of choices. To my experience, most Best Western are better than HP st CVG.
    Unless they are obviously cheaper than other hotel groups, people staying at limited service hotels might go somewhere else.
    Those limited service hotels without free breakfast are not better than with free breakfast ones. Especially Holiday Inn and Courtyard. I found a lot of HIE and Fairfield are mostly better, newer, and more expensive than HI and Courtyard.
    Eliminating free breakfast is really an unwise move. They better take a look at their outdated rooms and facilities and terrible food for breakfast first then rethinking about charging $10 for breakfast.

  33. Fortunately, I have a bunch of Hotels within a 1-mile radius of my HP. No breakfast at the Hyatt Place I stay at? Time to head to the Hyatt Regency 5 blocks away and eat their free breakfast for the same room rate until I have my fill. Much better quality than HP, anyway. Competition is good!

  34. I recently stayed at the Hyatt Place at London Heathrow, they do charge for breakfast but do not tell you. I told them I was a Globalist and they took it off the bill. I will say that the breakfast is very good and it is quite a good little Hotel. It’s good for exploring Windsor and places close to there or if you leaving very early or coming in very late. I just happened to be on with Hyatt when I was reading this and why I stay is their customer service though I must say I am not a Hyatt Place girl, I prefer the other Hyatt brands.

  35. I stayed at the Duniway Portland (a Hilton “boutique” brand) and was offered a continental breakfast with my gold status. I know Hilton is pretty generous when it comes to handing out status, but the $4 upcharge to be allowed to eat the hot items from the same buffet seemed a bit odd. At least a $10 upcharge somehow makes it feel less like nickel and diming?

  36. It comes down to how far a corporation can push the public before they ACTUALLY get upset. Remember the USAir charges for soda and water? 😉

    Fact remains, most people NEVER fill out a survey (myself included) or take the time to write the CEO (something I DO). doug.parker@aa.com gets mail almost quarterly from many in our company. 😉

  37. I don’t necessarily have to have free breakfast, especially when i am traveling alone. But if I am with my wife who is not a big breakfast eater or if the kids are with us, free breakfast is a huge savings. If the hotel is no better than a Hampton or Holiday Inn Express, why would I go out of my way to stay at a Hyatt brand when I have trouble finding Hyatt properties in enough of the places I travel. This change just cements me in the Hilton, SPG/Marriott, and IHG fold. I have 2,700 Hyatt points and this year I think I will just let them expire. (Last year, I bought a minimum of points to keep what I had alive, thinking I would stay at Hyatt last year…I never did.)

  38. My company pays for hotel but not for meals. Well, meals that are expensed include a fringe benefit tax of 33%. However, if it’s built into the hotel rate then it’s considered just the cost for the hotel. So I’d definitely book a hotel rate that includes a breakfast as part of the charge, not a separate charge.

  39. Hyatt is the Delta of hotels.
    The strategy is to change the tiers frequently, change the rewards, give euphemistic status levels like Globalist etc.
    In the end, the strategy is the same: without eliminating the programs, “grub” the benefits back, but by bit to fool the suckers like us!

  40. Not a fan of this change. Decent quality free breakfast was often the extra that made me book with Hyatt over Hilton. And the mid-week socials with free wine and apps was a nice touch also when staying at Hyatt House Sandy UT. I’m sure that’s gone now too.

  41. I’m almost to the point where I no longer eat the unhealthy stuff from breakfasts and opt for the yogurt with fruit. My way of eating healthy.

  42. Seems like Hyatt is not only downgrading their food offerings at Hyatt Places.
    Recently I stayed at the Seattle Hyatt Olive 8, my favorite Hyatt in the area until recently.
    “Based on customer feedback”, they are not offering traditional room-service anymore with cart, tray and silver-ware, but one only gets his food tossed now into to-go containers in a paper-bag with plastic forks.

  43. @Lucky- Hyatt changed the website you linked too. It now states “free breakfast”. Does this mean Hyatt Place is going to charge us for breakfast at their whim now?

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