Breakfast beats free Wi-Fi in my book

True story: I used to work with a sales guy in a downtown office building who, several times a week, would go to the Hampton Inn across the street and avail himself of the free breakfast. I don t think he even pretended to be a guest, and certainly the staff should have recognized him, but somehow he was able to pull it off for a good stretch. Maybe they considered him a good way to spread the marketing message? People love hotel breakfast this gal included. In fact, I m going to go out on a limb here and say it s my No.

1 hotel amenity. That s right: breakfast. Not free Wi-Fi, not a gigantic bed or 19 outlets within pinky distance of my pillow.

Breakfast! I love the pancake machine at Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express. I m a huge fan of the new grab-and-go breakfast at Hampton Inn. Those flip-over wafflemakers? Forget about it. And whatever you do, don t get me started on the Embassy Suites omelet station. Heck, I m overjoyed with a hot cup of brewed coffee and a borderline-stale muffin, really.

A recent survey from Agoda.com1 (which is part of Priceline Group) asked thousands of customers all over the world what their preferred hotel amenities are, and the majority (55%) said free Wi-Fi.

You thought it d say free breakfast, but nope. That came in at a close second. Honestly, I was surprised to see breakfast ranking so close to free Wi-Fi, but it just made me realize that yes, Wi-Fi and checking email is important, but breakfast is vital. This is the time of the year when we all see the vacation photos that family and friends send around and post on social media. While I m the first to complain that the whole food photo craze has gotten out of hand, I will never turn my nose up at a pic of a good hotel breakfast.

This fall the people behind the genius Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express pancake machine (and no, before you ask, nobody paid me to endorse this or them I m just an honest fan of pancakes and nobody can fault me on that) are taking their pancake show on the road. They re putting selfies on pancakes. Yes. Selfies. ON PANCAKES. Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express Pancake Selfie Express food truck is hitting nine cities in September and October to showcase its new technology that imprints selfies taken via mobile phone onto a pancake. Sure, this is a campaign meant to increase consumer awareness of the brand, and that s certainly not a tactic limited just to Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express.

So many brands, even in the economy space, are touting healthier options, grab-and-go formats and more choice. All in all, breakfast is a great differentiator for a hotel, particularly in this age of blurred lines between full service and select service. But I m not here to tell you that; let s hope you know that already. I m just here to reinforce the fact that yes, breakfast is a big deal to the consumer, and it does make a difference when it comes to that whole surprise and delight factor. So do me a favor: Tweet me some breakfast photos from your hotel. It ll make me feel better since I m missing the Pancake Selfie Express.

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  1. ^ A recent survey from (
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