CHICAGO—The most important meal of the day is getting a healthy dose of local flavor. Hyatt Place is rolling out regionally inspired breakfast experiences in the U.S., giving guests options aligned with the country’s geography.
The melting-pot menus are broken down by Atlantic, South, Heartland, Southwest and West Coast properties, each with different selections, an initiative that began in November 2018.
“The new Hyatt Place breakfast options are designed to address our guests’ needs and exceed their expectations with upgraded ingredients, variety and, most importantly, a flavor of the destination,” said Brian Contreras, corporate director of culinary operations, Americas, for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House.
The choice to elevate breakfast, specifically, was made with the guest in mind. Reflective of a recent Hyatt Place study to identify travelers’ breakfast habits, the brand found that the more frequent a guest travels, the more often they eat breakfast.
According to the study, almost half (49%) of respondents who identified themselves as “frequent travelers” (those who travel overnight at least six times per year), indicated that they eat breakfast more often while on the road, 55% of whom describe breakfast as essential.
“This further demonstrates the level of importance breakfast plays in the overall guest experience at Hyatt Place and the influence our new regional breakfast offerings have on bringing those guests back to our hotels time and time again,” Contreras said.
The same survey found that 53% of all Americans—and almost two-thirds of frequent travelers (63%)—have chosen a hotel because of its breakfast offerings. In addition, 37% of Americans indicated that more variety is a key reason why they eat breakfast more often while traveling.
“So, it seems as though leisure and business travelers alike expect high quality and flexibility when it comes to their culinary experiences and, oftentimes, it directly influences their breakfast eating behavior on the road,” Contreras said. “The new Hyatt Place regional breakfast offering tackles this straight on by featuring fresh, regionally sourced ingredients that seek to satisfy myriad food preferences.”
In 2012, Hyatt developed a global program for Hyatt chefs to evolve existing menus with a focus on food that’s good for people, the planet and the community.
Feeding on that are the new regional items. Choices include French toast with apple butter in the Atlantic region; turkey sausage and pimento biscuit sandwich in the South; a Heartland scramble bowl with diced shoulder bacon; chocolate churro bread pudding in the Southwest; and chilaquiles out West, just to name a few.
The reimagined menus focus on holistic, regional and craft food offerings, a change that also signals the ongoing commitment to higher quality sourcing that aligns with the philosophy, Contreras said.
According to Contreras, breakfasts will work on a rotation, meaning guests who stay more than one night can have a different breakfast each morning.
“We wanted to give our guests greater variety and the opportunity to customize their food options, so that each visit feels personalized and unique and truly gives our guests a flavor of the destination they’re visiting,” he said.
Or, instead of the regional breakfast offering of the day, guests can customize with buffet options like cage-free hard-boiled and scrambled eggs, all-natural bacon and sausage, and artisanal breads and pastries, among other selections.
“We saw white space in the select-service category to deliver an F&B experience that will consistently exceed guest expectations,” Contreras said. “And to take the Hyatt Place breakfast experience to the next level, we collaborated with a culinary consulting agency that specializes in food service innovation, creating a fantastic balance of fresh, outside thinking and deep operational expertise.”
Hyatt Place then developed recipes with Hyatt chefs and chefs de cuisine at hotel properties in the U.S.
“As a final test, we conducted tastings in key markets across the U.S. to ensure our new regional breakfast offerings resonated with guests. In all, we feel that we successfully developed a new breakfast platform that will truly propel the brand forward in the select-service space,” Contreras said.
Adding to the brand’s research and testing, Hyatt Place conducted a business traveler survey in 2018 that found that 56% of travelers prefer to try local cuisine while on the road.
“We’re always evaluating and measuring feedback at the hotel level through consumer satisfaction surveys and colleague engagement,” Contreras said. “Just as our brand is always evolving to embrace guests’ needs and desires, our options evolve as well, to be able to offer the best of each region to fit the lifestyles of all of our guests.”
The new initiative also follows the brand’s 2016 “You’ve Come Too Far to Settle Now” campaign, urging business travelers who never settle for “good enough” in their careers to never settle for “good enough” in a hotel stay and, in this case, the meal that propels their workday.
“The Hyatt Place brand has continually evolved since the first Hyatt Place opened 10 years ago—increasingly tailored to meet guests’ needs,” Contreras said. “With this evolution, the brand’s food and beverage offerings continue to evolve, too. We are constantly evolving our offerings and amenities so that we can continue to deliver seamless experiences that feel authentic, intuitive and modern to our guests.” HB