I prefer to stay at the brands in the Choice Hotels line. Some are better than others, but they offer wonderful military discounts that you can book online. Some offer free breakfast. Most of the Comfort Suites do. A better one, like Newport Ky (across the river from Cincinnati) can become a favorite stop. Pour-your-own waffle, great coffee, fresh local fruit in season, cereal included a bran variety, instant oatmeal and grits are sometimes found. What a view from that dinning room!!
Many of these places offer coffee and whole fruits (apples & oranges) all day long for guests who want to sit and relax.
I will some days opt for a waffle and fruit. Peanut butter on waffles, or sugar free syrup are a must, else I skip it. I like to have a coffee maker in the room, but there is seldom enough condiment packets to get the coffee the way I like it (light and sweet), so I go down to the lobby for creamer/splenda supplies. I never take more than I need for the 4 cup pot I’ve just made in the room.
I like the convenience. The waffles are good IMHO. I know nothing is free, and it is included in the price all patrons of the hotel pay. I will also venture out for breakfast if it is too crowded, dirty, or i see something served that isn’t in a servable condition (ie moldy cheese cubes).
I often book B&B’s when on vacation type trips, and those breakfasts just can’t be compared to chain hotel free breakfasts. There is a trade off though…when a chain hotel makes a mistake, they usually are interested in making it right to keep your business. But when a B&B makes a mistake, they say sorry and (in my experience) aren’t interested in making it right to keep your future business. It’s a shame really!
At a minimum, I like the option of breakfast being available on-site, free or not, even if I don’t partake of it.