Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day, but a new survey by the “Hilton Breakfast Alliance” – five hotel brands that collectively serve nearly 200 million free hot breakfasts annually – found that breakfast in America may actually be the most neglected meal of the day.

Hilton’s family of brands, including Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton, unveiled The State of Breakfast, a consumer survey, which found that Americans want more opportunities to make breakfast a priority and connect with their loved ones.

Among the results:

  • The vast majority of Americans (79%) believe breakfast is the most important meal, and 80% believe a shared breakfast can set the tone for the day.
  • In fact, 89% of Americans believe having breakfast with family or loved ones is a recipe for a great day and would make them feel happier (47%) and more fulfilled (38%).
  • Despite this, the majority of Americans (56%) admit they skip breakfast more than any other meal. And, fewer than one in 10 get to share the morning meal with family or friends.

“The ‘Hilton Breakfast Alliance’ is on a mission to transform breakfast, taking it from an isolated, rushed and disconnected experience to an enjoyable opportunity to start the day by connecting with others,” says Bill Duncan, global head, all suites and focused service category, Hilton, McLean, Va. “Every day in our hotels, we see the bonding that occurs when family and friends share breakfast together. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect while on the road, and should be at home, as well.”

Other survey highlights include:

  • The power of breakfast. Close to two-thirds (62%) of parents think eating a sit-down breakfast while on vacation is the best way to connect as a family – more so than taking a trip to a local attraction, visiting the beach, hiking or attending a sporting event or concert.
  • Putting breakfast on the backburner. Nearly all (95%) Americans admit to doing some sort of other activity while they eat breakfast. Close to two-thirds (62%) reveal that they are typically using technology, be it using their phone or computers to check emails and social media (36%), watching TV (31%) or listening to music or a podcast (21%).
  • A breakfast disconnect plagues the nation. Nearly half (49%) of Americans admit they usually feel disconnected to those around them at breakfast and less than half (41%) say they have conversations with the people around them while eating breakfast, with only 20% feeling those conversations are meaningful.
  • Building better breakfast connections. Four in five (81%) admit they wish they had more opportunities to sit down and eat breakfast with the people they care about, but 87% of Americans believe simple changes can make them feel more connected, like having breakfast together (44%), having more meaningful conversations at the breakfast table (38%), unplugging from digital devices (38%) or making breakfast a priority (37%).
  • Making time for a better breakfast. Four in five (80%) parents are willing to give something up to have more meaningful conversations with their children at the breakfast table, whether that be an hour of sleep (58%), a year of dessert (40%), TV (43%), smartphone (35%) or even 5% of their income (15%).

Kelton Global, Los Angeles, conducted The State of Breakfast Survey among 1,571 nationally representative Americans ages 18-plus from April 9-12, via an online survey with an overall margin of error of 2.5%.