Operations

Marriott tests replacing the breakfast buffet with vending machines

The lodging giant’s Fairfield Inns brand is providing hot breakfast sandwiches and an array of cold a.m. standards via kiosks, with snacks and beverages offered throughout the day.
Marriott vending
Photo courtesy of Marriott

Marriott International is testing a new generation of vending machines as possible replacements for the complimentary breakfast buffets of its budget-priced Fairfield Inns & Suites chain.

Two branches of the motel brand are featuring what Marriott describes as a wall-to-wall bank of self-serve kiosks. In the morning, part of the array provides complimentary hot breakfast sandwiches, along with such cold items as yogurt, cereal and fruit.

Patrons can purchase “expanded a la carte items” and specialty coffees via a Bluetooth connection with their phones or other devices, Marriott said.

The vending marketplace is also stocked with snacks, beverages and sundries, with the edible selections replenished throughout the day for the sake of freshness.

With travel increasing from the severely depressed levels of the pandemic, the lodging giant is also trying self-service terminals that allow guests to check into their rooms and get their keys without any human contact. Marriott said those kiosks feature new germ-killing technology that incorporates UV lighting. It is not clear whether that safeguard is also incorporated in the grab-and-go marketplaces.

The food-dispensing kiosks are in place at two Fairfield properties in Maryland.

The lodging giant has adopted several new amenities for drawing travelers amid the pandemic, such as COVID testing for guests attending a conference.

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