Hilton has replaced breakfast as an elite benefit at U.S. hotels with a daily food and beverage credit. I love the idea of using the credit for a meal other than breakfast – room service even! – but the amount Hilton offers is too low. In many cases it doesn’t cover the least expensive breakfast options if that’s still how you want to use it. In fact, at some hotels it won’t even cover a cup of coffee with tax and the expected tip.
They’re nudging the credit up slightly from $12 to $15 at full service brands starting February 1, 2022, so credit amounts are going to be:
- Waldorf, Conrad, LXR: $25/day ($50 for 2 guests)
- Hilton, Signia,,DoubleTree, Curio, Tapestry, Canopy, Motto: $15/day ($30 for 2 guests) but $18 / $36 in Boston, Chicago, District of Columbia, Key Largo, Key West, New York City and San Francisco, the County of Los Angeles and the state of Hawaii
- Hilton Garden Inn: $10/day ($20 for 2 guests)
Some people like this because (1) they aren’t big on hotel breakfast, or (2) they travel for work and can bill breakfast to their employer anyway. But those who valued the breakfast benefit come out behind and are vocal. It’s hard because it’s not like Hilton was reimbursing hotels the full breakfast cost to begin with. How do they provide greater guest flexibility without breaking the bank?
There has to be a way to solve this. After all, my freshman year dorm at UCLA managed to figure this out.
When I was on a meal plan in college I didn’t always want breakfast. I worked my schedule to avoid Monday and Friday classes, and I might not be awake for breakfast. Fortunately you could exchange a meal (like breakfast) for a small dollar credit to use at other food outlets on campus – as long as you made the request the day of the meal, before the hours for that meal were over.
I’d run downstairs to the front desk of my building a couple of minutes before the end of breakfast, wearing the previous day’s clothes and not yet having showered. But I scored that $4 credit (or so, my memory is fuzzy)!
Hilton Honors should treat elites as well as my college dorm! They should provide a choice between free breakfast or the smaller dollar credit. Hilton would still manage their costs while providing guest flexibility. That would turn a controversial move into a win that customers would love instead of complaining about.