It’s one of the great ironies of hotels that the higher room rate, the less likely it is to include breakfast. And if you want a good laugh, just take a look at the room service menu, where breakfast always seems to have the highest markup. And the hotels make the morning meal so tempting, especially those who offer the order forms that you just check off and hang on your doorknob in front of the Do Not Disturb sign. And if you opt for the restaurant instead, a nice hotel breakfast can cost a good deal more than dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. So while breakfast is always a bit of a scam ($10 bread basket, anyone?), it was truly a scam at the Belvedere Hotel in New York City where the controller saw it as a way to get rich.
According to a story in the New York Post, Mary Comis pled guilty to embezzling $208,000 from the Belvedere Hotel and she got most of it from breakfast. There are two rates for breakfast there: Continental ($13.95) and American ($19.95). Comis made it look like everyone chose the cheaper option and then she kept the difference. It would be great if the hotel changed the American breakfast’s cost to $13.95, since they hadn’t gotten the extra money for it for years anyway. But somehow I doubt that will happen.