Hyatt Place is changing its breakfast offerings. They are going to vary by region of the world. Guests will no longer be guaranteed a free hot breakfast at any Hyatt Place in the world, even if they are members of World of Hyatt booking direct. That’s a huge change.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a lot of change in the world, from how we order groceries to how we think about workspaces, and it’s changed travel as well – privileging cleaning, and gearing offerings towards price sensitive leisure travelers (which is who is traveling today) rather than traditional business travelers. It has meant rethinking offerings quickly versus changes that might have made sense in a pre-Covid world but that would have taken years to evolve.
One of those may be the ‘free breakfasts’ at limited service hotels, even upscale ones, if Hyatt’s changes to the Hyatt Place brand are an early indication.
Here are the details, as first reported by Zach Griff at The Points Guy website.
- U.S. properties. You no longer need to be a World of Hyatt member to receive complimentary breakfast, reversing changes made two years ago. The people traveling today are online travel agency customers rather than brand loyalists.
They’re piloting a change at 20 hotels where continental breakfast is free (perhaps avocado toast, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal) with hot and extended breakfast items for purchase. Globalist members will receive hot items complimentary. This is a downgrade to the traditional Hyatt Place offering, for all except top tier World of Hyatt members.
- Africa, India, and the Middle East will offer free “regionally inspired breakfast” for all guests starting November 16, without loyalty program membership.
- Asia Pacific gets… complicated. World of Hyatt members booking direct get free breakfast for two people. Non-members (who don’t sign up on property) and those booking through third parties get free breakfast for.. one person. This is going to lead to some strange on-property interactions.
- Europe will see some rates exclude breakfast entirely starting November 16. This includes properties in Amsterdam, West London and airports in Frankfurt and at Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Heathrow. Globalist members will still receive breakfast on non-breakfast rates.
Griff writes “[t]hese cheaper rates could be appealing if you don’t need breakfast — or plan to dine outside the hotel.” That’s silly. What cheaper rates, compared to what’s been offered inclusive of breakfast, are in the market? There’s no indication at this point that unbundling breakfast from the Hyatt Place value proposition will lead to lower prices, versus either lower costs for hotels or higher prices to get breakfast. It assumes facts not in evidence. It appears that room rates are down, so in some markets hotels aren’t being required to spend money on food for those lower rates.
Overall Griff acknowledges “Removing the complimentary breakfast benefit in select international hotels is a clear-cut devaluation. Plus, these changes are being implemented with little, if any, warning.”
I’d go a step further. This degrades the premium brand that Hyatt Place has built. You still get reasonably stylish large rooms. I’m a fan of Hyatt Places generally, at least the properties that aren’t ex-AmeriSuites. And the change shouldn’t affect me as a top tier Hyatt member. But this affects more than just ‘select international hotels’ but potentially the entire brand in some fashion nearly worldwide.