David J. Danto


Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org††††† Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD

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Stop Putting Stuff In My Food


In the life of a business traveler, there are major problems (The TSA, airlines that consistently treat us like dirt, unrealistic schedules / connections) minor problems (the growing inconvenience pervasive in air-travel) and simple annoyances.This blog is about something that fits into that third category.For the life of me, I donít understand airport and hotel food.

Itís usually impossible and unrealistic to pack all the food weíd need to eat on a business trip, so when weíre on the road, we have to find food we can eat to stay alive.Unfortunately, way too often, the companies that make this food available to travelers thoughtlessly add ingredients that many people canít or wonít eat.Ingredients that could be included as an ďadd-onĒ for those who want it, and omitted for those who donít.

I was traveling through Newark airport yesterday, and like many times, I needed to grab a pre-made sandwich from one of the vendors.It represented what would be my only food for hours.There were many choices, unless you donít want mayonnaise or mustard on them Ė then there are none.Thereís even a gluten-free sandwich option Ė but it has mayo on it already.What if youíre someone who canít eat or doesnít like mayonnaise?What if youíre someone who doesnít like mustard on turkey?I simply donít get why they donít make these sandwiches dry and then have condiment packages available for the people who want them.It must be more costly to add these condiments on every sandwich then it would be to make it available to the few people who actually wanted them.It would be healthier to control amounts too.

The problem of stuff in my food isnít just experienced at the airport.Many of the hotel properties I stay at offer a free hot breakfast.The majority of times I canít eat it.Itís too much trouble to try to pick around the peppers I despise in the Ďwestern omeletí to get some of the eggs.As you can see in the photo above from my Hampton Inn stay this morning, I just gave up.Why canít peppers, cheese, mushrooms, etc. be available on the side so people who want them can have them?If properties have the time and money to offer a selection of hot breakfast items then sure, feel free to offer some loaded choices for people that like them.However, if youíre only offering one choice for breakfast, please donít put stuff in my food.On longer trips I can rent a car and pick-up food and other things that exactly match my needs and likes.But on an overnight stay Iím at the mercy of the property.

I donít want to hear the argument that itís too difficult or expensive or burdensome to offer multiple choices or Ďon-the-sideí extras.Thatís clearly hogwash.The same airport kiosk that had no non-slathered sandwiches was offering eight brands of water and six brands of chips (most from companies I never heard of.)Thatís the game at airports nowadays.People are upset about paying three dollars for a bottle of water or bag of pretzels that should cost 50 cents, so to add perceived value to these simple products, the common / desired brands are no longer carried and Ďfancierí brands are sold instead.If you can have a half-dozen types of French-sounding snacks Ė each selling for ~500% what they should cost Ė Iím sure you can make some room for packets of mustard and mayo without too much difficulty.

Yes, there are more urgent issues for us road-warriors.As I mentioned there are major problems and minor problems we have to face daily.Why are these firms making things unnecessarily worse by putting stuff in our food? Please stop.


This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

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