Hyatt is Testing Elimination of Free Breakfast at Hyatt Place Properties

Hyatt has eliminated free breakfast at some Hyatt Place properties in what they’re calling a ‘test’.

At the very least the Hyatt Place Dallas North/by the Galleria and Hyatt Place Detroit-Utica are no longer offering a full, free breakfast. They’re testing a $10 price point:

  • for breakfast, period
  • as a buy up to hot breakfast, while including cold items complimentary

Hyatt Place Lobby

This test apparently began last month, at least changing the websites of the individual properties to no longer promise free breakfast did. The Dallas property began charging for breakfast this month.

Top tier elites still receive full complimentary breakfast at these properties as a function of their elite status. Hyatt’s terms and conditions say that breakfast isn’t a benefit at Hyatt Place hotels, of course, but that’s because Hyatt Place provides breakfast to everyone. If the Hyatt Place brand standard changes then they’ll need to update the World of Hyatt program terms.

Not valid at Miraval, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Residence Club hotels and resorts, Oasis Homes, or M life Rewards destinations.

Breakfast vooucher from Hyatt Place Dallas North – Galleria:

A Hyatt spokesperson tells me,

A small number of Hyatt Place hotels in the U.S. are currently piloting different breakfast options, including a complimentary continental breakfast and a pay-for breakfast with more extensive options. Guests with reservations made at these hotels before February 1, 2018, as well as guests at other Hyatt Place hotels throughout the country, will continue to enjoy the free hot breakfast. Following this pilot, we will look at guest feedback to determine the best breakfast offering for Hyatt Place hotels in the U.S.

Much like the changes to the World of Hyatt program they seem to be continuing their focus on cutting costs for properties.

In order to find out whether a given hotel is still offering free breakfast you might think you’d just go to that hotel’s home page. But it isn’t that simple. Go to a hotel’s page on the Hyatt website, navigate to ‘Hotel Info’ and then ‘More Hotel Features’.

The Hyatt Place Detroit-Utica which is no longer offering free full breakfast lists as a feature,

In contrast the Hyatt Place Detroit-Livonia — similar to most properties — still says

I’ve asked for a complete list of properties and will update if they provide one.

I wonder though how valid a ‘test’ this will be since I’m guessing many Hyatt Place guests aren’t aware their stay doesn’t include breakfast at the time of booking.

So if the question is, do bookings drop as a result of charging for breakfast? the answer may be ‘no’ but that’s only because customers have come to expect breakfast and the fact that it isn’t included is fairly well hidden from them.

If they want to know whether they will suffer a drop in occupancy or average room rate, they need to do a valid test — educate customers about what to expect and then see whether it influences their behavor. Because otherwise the test will tell them customers continued to book because they were hoodwinked and if they roll out the change across the brand they may be surprised when customers balk.

(HT: M.F.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Or the breakfast is terrible – whether its free or $10 – and I’m not eating it anyway. I’m travelling on business so I’m going to go someplace and get a quality breakfast and bill it.

    I’m not staying at Hyatt place because the free breakfast was a draw…

  2. “We’ll look at guest feedback”? Why do we let these marketing jerks get away with this nonsense?

    I’m sure they will have some line in their survey they can claim shows that it’s not important. But, really, what are they suggesting here: “I was delighted to learn that I would have to pay for breakfast.”

    “We will look at how much people care to determine whether we can make this stick and not lose more revenue than we gain” is the proper answer.

  3. When Hyatt Place first started the format was a simple free breakfast and the opportunity to order hot extras such as scrambled eggs and bacon. I liked it as the hot food was made fresh. Then they went to totally free with a downgraded hot breakfast. It’s one of the reasons I rarely stay at Hyatt Place – the other main reason being the use of window-box air conditioners. I hope they go back to the original format. What travelling business man worries about paying $10 for a good and freshly made breakfast?

  4. I always thought the superior breakfast compared to the competition was the selling point of Hyatt Place. I usually prefer even Holiday Inn Express and the the Marriott collection of ridiculously named Fairfield-Suite-Inn-whatever hotels to the ultra-crappy Hyatt Place properties inherited from AmeriSuites. But the breakfast is much much better.

  5. The breakfast was on average a Holiday Inn Express or Motel 6 quality to begin with. Having said that it serves notice that Hyatt as you stated are looking to appease their property owners in costs with the real question if other similar market flags follow suit. I think not, but have been wrong. HP is a mixed bag, the new properties are nice the older reflag’s are dumps.

    I moved back to Marriott last year not qualifying for Globalist ( Gag me with a spoon on that title) their foot print for me was too damn small to make 65. 50 was reachable. And now that SPG is part of Marriott I am back to enjoying my LFT PLT with Marriott.

  6. I love Hyatt Place/House bc of the breakfast. If they take it away I will stay less. Period

  7. This is one of the rare cases where I suspect the feedback loop will be pretty quick. A core segment of the market for these types of properties is business travelers who may be returning to the same property each week (or rather frequently), likely to a repeat customer/client/site/etc…

    Those folks will become immediately aware of the change, and are also the ones most likely to know the front office folks and complain about it. For someone on per diem, this constitutes $10 more that they might not get in their pocket (depending on how its structured). And in many cases, the price between properties is a wash, or below the threshold at a company – so a person may very well change directions merely over something as small as this.

    Certainly for the properties I’ve said in weeks on end, you quickly get to know the management staff – even if just on a non-first name facial recognition basis of saying ‘Hi’ in the morning.

    Whereas a more casual traveler wouldn’t likely make that feedback as well known, nor likely to the right front office managers. And in this case, it’s the business travelers that book a week at a shot that will quickly cause any savings to go down the drain when those travelers book towards roughly equivalent properties with free breakfast.

  8. I’m a Globalist and rarely stay at any Hyatt limited service property
    Even for free it sucks .Who would pay for that nasty swamp cuisine?
    They cut the welcome amenity points at check in (oh wow a free bottle of water to split 2 ways)
    and now for the masses their amazing hot breakfast fresh from a microwave will be an up-charge? lol make that upchuck
    I find their food disgusting and so does my family members
    I’m forced to take them out to breakfast in the very rare situation we stay in any Hyatt Place Hyatt House
    Easy we avoid them like the plague and go Hilton Garden Inn or anywhere else where at least they have cooks and actual kitchens

  9. I actually don’t mind the Hyatt Place breakfast. To be it is the biggest selling point over a Hampton Inn.

    I do wish they would offer an “even better” option to compete with Hilton Garden Inn, though.

    Hopefully WOH elite members continue to get free breakfast

  10. Wow I was just thinking about this.

    In Panama the Aloft and the Holiday Inn Express are $100 a night and dont include breakfast, while the Hyatt Place is $64 and include really good breakfast. In Panama, and most of central america, breakfast is like a lunch. They eat steak and chicken, soup etc. And this hyatt place offers a really good breakfast with those things.

    I was wondering how they were making money offering the free breakfast. Or how come the other hotels which are at the same level, dont offer breakfast.

  11. The breakfast was pretty bad at the one Hyatt Place I’ve been to. However, considering a small handful of properties are participating in this “test,” I think it will be easy to say it’s working since most guests won’t know the difference until it’s too late.

  12. Nice shot Ray!! actually it’s Kirby’s old boss at AA. RM’s brings solid points to the discussion and think the consensus is A) lousy food and B) substandard properties.

  13. Eliminating free breakfast at Hyatt Place is a very bad idea. As a globalist I stay at Hyatt’s often. The Hyatt Place brand quality has been deteriorating continually over the last several years. This additional change would just accelerate the decline.

  14. Hyatt is doing literally everything they can to drive business away. It’s uncanny. What a dumpster fire of a corporation.

  15. This is unfortunate timing. I generally prefer Marriotts (except for Courtyards), but had recently gotten the Hyatt credit card due to the location of affordable Hyatt Places near the airports I frequent for personal travel. The free breakfast was a draw, especially when paired with early morning flights home, as it made these hotels roughly comparable to the Marriotts I would otherwise be staying at. To the extent this “test” spreads, it would definitely push me back into the Marriott/SPG camp. Guess I better burn those Hyatt points before they’re effectively devalued.

  16. The HP breakfast started being very much better than similar limited service properties like Hampton Inn , Fairfield Inn and HI Express about 4 years ago. It has gradually devolved into something marginally better and the idea now that Hyatt wants to charge for it is a bad joke.

    The cost of going elsewhere for breakfast had begun to factor into my decision on where to stay and this will further make it not in Hyatt’s favor.

    With all of the changes occurring recently it seems like management shorted Hyatt stock, made a list of why customers stay with the brand and started removing those reasons.

  17. Hyatt Place / House Charleston is new and the breakfasts are pretty decent. I go there pretty regularly (on my own dime) since they opened. It would be pretty disappointing if they started charging.

  18. I take free breakfast into account for bookings. Stay at Holiday Inn Express over Holiday Inn. Fairfield Inn over Courtyards. No real compare for Hyatt Place, it just falls off. No $10 from me, Hyatt already smallest footprint so more to Holiday Inn Express and Fairfield’s. I believe . Marriot is testing including free breakfast at Courtyards as that chain is falling in disfavor

  19. @Mike- where did you hear Courtyard is testing free breakfast? That would be a big positive in my book as Courtyards have a large, convenient footprint, but I generally disregard them in favor of breakfast-included Marriott properties.

  20. I thought that Hyatt was trying to undo some of the damage from that travesty we call WOH. Instead, Hyatt is making another really obvious blunder. Free breakfast and more space are the two reasons to stay at a Hyatt Place. Who comes up with this stuff?

  21. This is big trend in Europe right now. A number of the corporately owned hotels that I’ve frequented over the years have stopped providing complimentary breakfasts.

  22. I’m fine with this as long as they replace it with real food. Even Fairfield Inn has better breakfast. Hyatt desperately needs drinkable coffee and made-to-order eggs (not from a giant carton) for starters, not to mention significant GF options. The current food is more like McD’s.

  23. Bummer to read this news.
    Boy, there are some rich people here or people who indeed are very privileged because of their work. For a mere mortal like myself who has to pay out of pocket cash or points I have found the Hyatt Places to be great bang for my buck. 2500 points and $50 with free breakfast-yes please! As others have said, without the free breakfast my decision making definitely changes. And by the way, I think the breakfasts are fine–they are not Park Hyatt Bejiing breakfasts, but reasonable for regular everyday life people.

  24. There is no such thing as when a “test” like this is declared a failure. This alleged-pilot program will soon be declared as a success, and the free breakfast will thereafter disappear system-wide.

    And this will just be the beginning of a downhill cascade of negative changes affecting loyal patrons.

  25. The marketing creature-speak about looking at guest feedback aside, I like Hyatt Place. Good room design, and really comfortable beds and polite, professionally staff.
    My Hyatt card- I’m just a Discoverist- usually gets me an upgrade. Just stayed at the Miami HP and will spend 2 or 3 days at the Austin TX Hyatt Place in a few months and am looking forward to it. Not the best breakfast, but far from the worst. Good coffee.

  26. I stay at the Hyatt Place Utica on a weekly basis so I noticed this going on for a few months. They can charge whatever they want, I’d rather walk across the street and have McDonalds anyway.

    FYI, it’s still free for globalists and on the vast majority of rate codes.

  27. Great idea Hyatt. How about we all test this out too: SPEND YOUR MONEY ELSEWHERE. Let us know how the test works out for you.

  28. I’m really curious as to how would collect vouchers/enforce the system? It’s in the lobby. Seems challenging at best. Wrist bands? Punch cards?

  29. @chris – I wondered the same thing since all you’d have to do is walk in like you belonged there. And how to verify if someone goes back in the kitchen area for a drink or more food? They had one person walking around collecting coupons.

    I could tell that the hotel staff was tired of dealing with the change, the way they presented it to me. Exasperated. I got the feeling that if the computer didn’t tell them what to do they’d be handing these vouchers out to everyone that came through. But I will say that the lobby was MUCH less crowded than normal and there was a lot of food sitting under warmers.

    All I usually want is a bagel and some cream cheese, there 1000 places cheaper than $10 for that.

  30. They better not think of doing a similar “test” at Hyatt House properties. The breakfasts there, especially the made to order omelets, are excellent.

  31. I’m test-marketing “not staying at Hyatt properties”

    If I could just give up the Ziva @250 per night with a suite upgrade, and Don Julio 70, I’d be out of there completely.

  32. Of course, everyone’s needs and tastes may differ, but for our personal and business travel, breakfast offerings, and the quality we know from prior experience, or our research indicates, be they “free” or included as a “package deal”/bundle, are among the most important factors we consider right up there with price/value, location, and overall reviews of the property’s cleanliness and service delivery.

    Maybe we’re outliers, but when traveling, we like being able to have breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the day since once out, we often don’t return until the evening for a quick shower and change if we’re meeting friends/colleagues for dinner, or even much later if a change of clothes isn’t necessary.

    And although lunch is really our first meal of the day during the week, when on the road, we like to skip lunch altogether and have an early breakfast at the hotel instead.

    Maybe that’s weird, but when traveling, big meals in the middle of the day just don’t work for us!

    We like to get up, get breakfast, go back to the room, have a few mins to “freshen up” in a place we know is clean, and then head out…

    So, for us, hotels that include really good breakfasts DO matter. And those that don’t, don’t get our bookings at all.

  33. That’s the end of my long association with Hyatt. Vastly cut back my stays when they finished Hyatt gold passport. Now they’ve messed with even their low price option so I’m done.

  34. Can’t wait for them to start subdividing their (mostly) largest-in-class hotel rooms…

  35. We stay often at Hyatt Place BWI as it is near the grandkids. The staff know us by name and the room is fine. most of the offerings on weekdays are just okay but on weekends they witch to crumbly eggs and sausage served on paper plates. I preferred the old breakfast sandwiches to the current “breakfast bowls”.

  36. Oh Hyatt… you were once so focused on we, your customer. And we loved you back.

    @Ray – LOL! Maybe Doug Parker should look at acquiring Hyatt.

    @whoever said HP’s breakfasts were the same as Holiday Inn Express: Seriously? I’ve never been a fan of the breakfasts at HP but give me their breakfast over an HIE any day. I mean, the eggs at HIE often seem little better than powdered (pass the ketchup!).

  37. I am staying at a Hyatt Place right now, and I can say it is underwhelming, diappointing. I am sure the breakfast will be very weak, looking at the mess downstairs.

    Could not check in until around 3:30, despite checking in online at 10:00 am as “the room was dirty” at 10 am. At 3:30 pm it was still “dirty”. Got a different room, which is OK, just not in the same class as the Hyatt House next door.

    Never again Hyatt Place, so who cares about the breakfast.

  38. This blows. Yeah maybe it’s not the best breakfast in the world, but when you’re traveling it’s nice not to have to worry about every meal. It’s not the business travelers that are affected since they aren’t paying anyway.

  39. @Megan: Actually, it matters to us business travelers too. Some, like me, have a per diem – meaning the less I spend, the more in my pocket. Others have reimbursement, but there’s generally a limit. It’s very easy to breach that limit if you’re paying for three meals a day on the road.

    Of course, in this case, Hyatt is still offering free breakfast to Diamonds. But evidence suggests that there are a lot fewer Hyatt Diamonds than there were a couple of years ago. Yeah, yeah, I know – there’s 100% fewer since they’re not called “Diamond” anymore.

    I was a Not-Diamond last year but gave up on Hyatt. I don’t think I even made mid-tier for this year. Haven’t bothered to check. I’ve moved by business from Hyatt/Hilton to Hilton/Marriott.

  40. I have been a Globalist (& Diamond before the change) for years; and can honestly say that if they went away from this type of perk; I would take my business somewhere else. Hyatt has always been beyond the vast coverage of Marriott & Hilton; so therefore starting to cheap on things will clearly devalue the reason for staying.

  41. I think I will give up my Hyatt credit card next go round, this is a big devalue IMO on a limited footprint hotel.

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