Elevating the waffle from a breakfast staple to a create-your-own experience sweetened guest satisfaction scores for Hampton by Hilton. Sponsored: Hampton’s innovative breakfast strategy revolutionizes hospitalityBy Shruti Gandhi Buckley | August 24, 2023Share Discover how Hampton by Hilton is revolutionizing guest satisfaction through their innovative breakfast offerings, redefining hospitality one meal at a time. As Hampton by Hilton prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary next year, its steadfast dedication to authentic service shines through. Service and consistency remain the heroes at this “elevated essentials” brand. They’re the reasons Hampton has more 5-star ratings on external review sites than any other hotel brand – and why the owners of Hampton’s nearly 2,700 properties made it their brand choice. Guest satisfaction is a crucial pillar, from the promise of “a seamless, best-in-class experience every time” to modern design that spans comfort and functionality and service amenities that make “away” seem more like home. Breakfast plays a pivotal role in the realm of guest experience and innovation. Hampton’s signature free hot breakfast is a guest favorite, and the fluffy Belgian waffle, introduced in 2009 as an industry first, has become synonymous with Hampton’s commitment to exceptional guest experiences. It’s one of the secret ingredients behind the brand’s renowned guest loyalty. Shruti Gandhi BuckleyIn honor of National Waffle Day this month, we’re taking a deeper dive into how Hampton continues to drive satisfaction through its breakfast program, raising the bar for the entire industry while providing hotel owners with a proven recipe for guest loyalty and success.1. Crafting a captivating welcomeToday’s travelers seek more than just a place to rest their heads; they are willing to invest in quality and crave memorable experiences. Hampton by Hilton recognizes these desires, exemplified by its approach to breakfast. More than a mere meal, breakfast at Hampton is an integral part of the overall stay, designed to engage the senses and foster a profound sense of belonging. Hampton's complimentary hot breakfast is also a perfect way for guests to fuel for the day ahead and recharge from the night before, ensuring they are ready to make the most of their trip.Hampton strives to cultivate an environment that not only excites but also surrounds guests in a sense of hospitality akin to a friend’s home. They are welcomed to a spread of high-quality options that cater to various tastes and dietary preferences. From hot proteins to fresh fruit to gluten-free and vegan items, the menu is crafted with care to ensure that every guest embarks on the day fully satisfied. The experience extends beyond a variety of breakfast choices – it is the service that makes Hampton breakfast a cut above the rest. The warm smiles and greetings from breakfast hosts and the award-winning service culture are what keep guests returning to Hampton.2. Innovating with seasonal flavors A hallmark of Hampton’s breakfast innovation is its attentive ear to its guests. What initially began as a convenient continental offering transformed into a celebration of breakfast’s vitality, becoming a recognition of its status as the day’s most important meal. Upon introduction, waffles became an immediate hit at Hampton hotels and the recent introduction of seasonal flavors - such as pumpkin spice, which makes its return this fall – are thoughtfully chosen based on guest feedback and emerging trends. This underscores Hampton’s ability to surprise and delight hungry travelers’ palates, as the brand aims to identify trends before the industry even sees them.The Hampton Waffle also provides an opportunity to engage guests in the breakfast experience. At home, preparing fresh waffles can be a hassle – mixing batter, retrieving the heavy waffle maker from wherever it is hidden away, assembling toppings and cleaning up after. It’s no wonder that Hampton’s make-your-own waffle station has become a hallmark of the brand. All the prep work is removed, so guests can focus on the fun of filling and flipping the waffle irons, adding their choice of toppings and immediately enjoying their own fresh off-the-griddle creation.3. Upholding quality and consistencyIn the pursuit of preserving its reputation and its one-of-a-kind 100% Hampton Guarantee, the brand employs a robust quality assurance program. This ensures that each hotel aligns with the elevated standards set forth by the brand, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability among team members, owners and leaders. This harmony between meticulous processes and passionate partners is the cornerstone of Hampton’s ability to consistently deliver a memorable breakfast experience. More than a mere meal, breakfast at Hampton is an integral part of the overall stay, designed to engage the senses and foster a profound sense of belonging.Shruti Gandhi BuckleyShare this quoteGuest-centered customization and flexibility are also pivotal in maintaining breakfast excellence. In addition to a core set of standard menu items, Hampton empowers its hotels with the flexibility to select from options tailored to locality and targeted demographics. This strategic customization, coupled with insights gleaned from vendors and guest research, allows Hampton to streamline its menu, focusing on offerings that genuinely resonate with its diverse clientele while still providing a consistent core offering across its vast portfolio of hotels.4. The ROI of a quality breakfastHampton’s unwavering dedication to breakfast extends to its capacity to navigate changing landscapes. During the pandemic, while other brands scaled back on services, breakfast remained a steadfast offering at Hampton, albeit with innovative adaptations to meet health and safety requirements while balancing the operational and cost needs of owners and operators. As business momentum resumed and rates recovered, the focus shifted to aligning breakfast fully with guest expectations.Recognized by Entrepreneur as the only hotel brand to be ranked as the No. 1 lodging franchise for the last 14 years, the brand remains laser-focused on both the operating and business models to drive robust returns on investment and margin performance while delivering a best-in-class guest experience. It achieves this equilibrium by addressing its guest needs with the financial and operational goals of owners.For example, the seasonal waffle program operates at a cost-neutral balance, introducing freshness and variety without compromising operational efficiency. While skeptics might question the payoff of investing in a high-quality breakfast, Hampton’s approach resoundingly disproves such doubts, offering an experience that guests are willing to pay a premium for. The positive guest sentiment, brand loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing stemming from these offerings far outweigh the costs involved.Looking ahead, Hampton is poised to continue its legacy of a best-in-class experience, with plans underway to introduce new rotational options, driving continuous innovation and newness in the breakfast experience. Hampton by Hilton remains a compelling example of how a simple meal can create lasting memories and build strong connections with guests around the world.Shruti Gandhi Buckley is the senior vice president and brand leader for Hampton by Hilton.The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel Investment Today or Northstar Travel Group and its affiliated companies.