I’m Baffled. Hyatt Is Testing Eliminating Free Breakfast At Hyatt Place

Hotels are constantly trying to find ways to generate more sales and also cut costs.  Some of those methods are more popular with customers.  Hyatt used to run a promotion called Faster Free Nights where you could earn…..faster free nights.  Other efforts are less popular.

It appears Hyatt Place is currently running a test at a couple of hotels where breakfast is no longer free.  View From The Wing notes that it appears to be a very limited test at a few hotels.  We don’t know how many hotels, but I’m guessing (hoping) it’s a small test.

Before you completely panic, folks who hold Hyatt’s top-tier elite status Globalist should be exempt from the breakfast charge.  Everyone else would seem to be subject to a $10 charge per room for breakfast.

I Have So Many Questions

These are in no specific order:

  • How are they going to police this?  Will they have someone standing near the buffet collecting vouchers?
  • What happens when customers are inevitably confused because breakfast has always been included?
  • The rest of the limited service hotels across major chains don’t charge for a buffet breakfast.  Off the top of my head, Aloft is the only limited service brand I can think of that even charges for breakfast at all.  Okay, that one is more of a statement.  I’ll just leave it there.

If this really is a $10 charge per room, it feels like it possesses all the nuisance attributes of a resort fee without actually putting a lot of cash to the bottom line.  Hyatt has made a point of positioning themselves as the premium offering in each category of hotels.  That’s mostly true when it comes to Hyatt Place and Hyatt House.  Part of that is the number of hotels that are relatively new construction.  And, part of that is a genuinely better offering.  Hyatt Place offers a rotation of hot breakfast items like customizable breakfast bowls, Greek yogurt parfait and healthy breakfast sandwiches with spinach and other healthy stuff my wife loves.  Hyatt House features an omelet bar where you can get omelets and eggs made-to-order.

It’s benefits like this that help Hyatt command a rate premium in some markets  I’ll traditionally see a Hyatt Place that’s a few dollars more per night than nearby competition when I’m traveling.

If Hyatt really intends to charge for breakfast, there’s one very important piece of the puzzle missing.  Consistency.  I spend at least 15 or 20 nights a year at Hyatt Place hotels.  Though not a majority of the time, I consistently see specialty items missing from the offerings in the morning.  I haven’t complained, there’s generally something else available for me to eat.  And, I’m getting fair value.  It’s a free breakfast.

The Final Two Pennies

There’s just nothing even close to a good idea here.  Hyatt is much better off continuing to offer a premium product and trying to extract a rate premium.  If they can’t get a higher rate than their competition, then maybe they can take share from their competition.  Charging for free breakfast isn’t revolutionary, it’s not innovative management.  It’s bad business.

The post I’m Baffled. Hyatt Is Testing Eliminating Free Breakfast At Hyatt Place was published first on Pizza in Motion

10 Comments

  1. Following the lead of Courtyard? Which I haven’t stayed at since they eliminated their free coffee in the mornings :-). And I’m a Marriott lifetime platinum.

  2. Four Points also doesn’t offer a free breakfast, but at least they tend to have a full kitchen for meal preparation. That’s certainly not the case for Aloft, which seems to work with just microwaves and hot plates. I’m never excited even when I get a breakfast voucher from them!

  3. I wish I could understand what is going on with Hyatt. Ever since their program changed they have made a series of baffling moves. Here in Northern Virginia, the weekend Hyatt rates across all brands are consistently $20-$25 more than nearby Hilton/Sheraton brands. They have successfully made themselves not a viable option for me on almost all personal and business travel.

    1. Paul, they’ve consistently tried to charge more for their brands within their competitive set. That’s why I think the breakfast thing is curious. I guess they’re not as successful charging a rate premium so they want to charge something less visible to the customer. “Limited-service resort fee”.

  4. I pretty much only stay at Hyatt Places(over other places) for the free breakfast. Guess there’s a reason to broaden my horizons.

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