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  Holiday Inn Express Overhauls Breakfast Bar at 1,200
Properties; Features Proprietary Cinnamon Roll
and Arabica Coffee
ATLANTA - March 2003 - In the midst of a time when food options for weary travelers are being downsized, all Holiday Inn Express properties across the country today will begin providing travelers with a superior, more balanced breakfast offering thanks to the introduction of the brand's new Express StartSM breakfast bar featuring signature breakfast items.  The Express Start breakfast bar rollout began in early January with more than 100 properties per week receiving installation.  All 1,200 hotels will be complete by March 31, 2003, representing the fastest food and beverage implementation in the hospitality industry. 
 
Holiday Inn Express is reinventing breakfast with the addition of its new proprietary items: a new, indulgent cinnamon roll created from a recipe developed exclusively for Holiday Inn Express--a recipe that even comes with an optimum warming temperature; and Smart Roast(tm) coffee, a 100 percent gourmet Arabica coffee with four different blends.  Additionally, travelers will find a variety of smart food choices including a protein offering, fresh fruit, cereals, juices and pastries. 
The revamped Express Start breakfast bar sports a new branded look-and-feel that delivers a complete Holiday Inn Express breakfast experience similar to that of a breakfast café.  The installation of the new breakfast bars marks the first time that the brand has carried the popular "Stay Smart" personality through to the hotel level. 

"Following the events of 9/11 when competitors were delaying or canceling the introduction of new amenities due to difficult economic conditions, we were investing in innovation that would appeal to our repeat customers and attract new ones once the economy bounced back," said Jenifer Zeigler, vice president, Holiday Inn Express brand.  "After nearly two years of research, recipe development and testing we've found the perfect recipe for possibly the best cinnamon rolls you'll ever taste. We've created the best limited-service breakfast offering with Express Start."

The research & development team behind the Express Start breakfast bar included hands-on assistance from Six Continents Hotels Food & Beverage Services, which traditionally is not directly involved in limited-service food innovation.  Also involved from the beginning was a committee of Holiday Inn Express franchisees who helped to develop the breakfast bar concept and heralded it through the International Association of Holiday Inns (IAHI) committee approval process. 

"The enhancements to the breakfast bar will actually save hotel owners money in the long run because we have been able to leverage the 1,200 U.S. hotel system for volume purchasing power," said Zeigler. 

"If individual franchisees had made these upgrades on their own, it would have cost three times as much, and guests would not have had a consistent experience from hotel to hotel. Now our guests can experience the same 'Stay Smart' promise throughout all of our hotels nationwide," she added. 
 

Additionally, NSF, The Public Health and Safety Company(tm), has honored the new breakfast bar concept.  Holiday Inn Express is the first hotel brand to receive a certification from NSF. As evidenced by the NSF certification, the brand has taken a restaurant approach to ensure food safety and quality.

"The NSF certification gives our guests another reason to feel confident that they have made the smart choice in selecting Holiday Inn Express knowing that the best care has been taken to ensure that they have safe quality food.  Just because 

NSF International, founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation, is known for the development of standards, product testing and certification services in the areas of public health, safety and protection of the environment.
the breakfast bar is free that doesn't mean lower quality or lax food safety standards," said Zeigler.

In support of the new breakfast bar, Holiday Inn Express is embarking on its first variation of the popular "Stay Smart" advertising campaign developed in 1998, which has coined the often heard phrase "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."  The new ads, themed around the tagline "Be a fan of breakfast again," are scheduled to air in late March. 

The Express Start breakfast bar is one component of a multi-year business strategy that also includes the introduction of three new styles of uniforms in the brand's trademark colors of cobalt blue, yellow and white to its on-property employees. The new uniform line is scheduled to be implemented system wide between March 15 - June 30 2003. 

Additionally, the company has implemented "SMART Service" workshops throughout the country to launch the new breakfast bar and uniforms, as well as new standards to ensure continued guest satisfaction and hotel consistency. Finally, Holiday Inn Express has updated its Sales Marketing And Revenue Tool or "SMART", an online sales tool, designed to assist general managers in creating action plans to sell and market their properties locally in order to generate additional business.

To celebrate the launch of the Express Start breakfast bar, the brand is asking America to help it name its new signature cinnamon roll. Contest information can be found at www.hiexpress.com/namethatroll.

There are currently more than 1,200 Holiday Inn Express locations around the globe.   Six Continents Hotels is a leading global hotel group whose brands include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites.  It owns, operates or franchises more than 3,300 hotels and over 515,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world.

Contact:


Adam Vossler
Six Continents
(404) 898-1652
avossler@gcigroup.com
www.hiexpress.com


Also See Quality Brand Hotels Teams with Kraft Foods to Develop Buffet Breakfast / Nov 2000
Sheraton Survey Indicates Hotels Have Plenty of Room for Improvement When It Comes to Dining; A Good Burger Beats Foie Gras / Dec 2000
FoodSense Offers its Restaurant Predictions: Six Trends You’ll See in Restaurants Over the Next Year / Nov 2000 

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