So I work at a hotel that serves free breakfast and dinners (for guests*), though the dinners are only mon-thu.
If you're ever looking for a free meal, I'd recommend checking out if there are hotels near you that do the same. I'm going to reply with a few tips to keep in mind in case you're nervous/unsure how to pass as a guest.
1. Dressing how you would if you just woke up is fine. 100% normal. Some people get ready before breakfast, but tons don't.

2. If you drive there, don't park at the front of the hotel so you can't be seen getting out of your car. If you have to walk up, try to approach from the side of the building.
3. If you see someone outside a side/back exit, tell them you forgot your key in your room and see if they'll let you in. If that's uncomfortable, walk around the building to the front and walk in the direction of the rooms.
4. If you can't tell how to get to the rooms, say something casual like, "which way again?"

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5. Front desk people see tons of strangers and usually cannot recognize you. Don't interact too much but don't be concerned about saying hi. We're trained to do that to everyone. I've said hi to the same man 3 times in 5 minutes without realizing.
6. If you don't want to ask how to get to the rooms, see if there's a little shop to look around until you can figure it out. Also check to see if there's a map on the website before if possible.

7. Hang out in the hall by the rooms for 5-10 mins before going to get your food.
8. Take as much as you want. People eat a lot when it's free. No one will notice. In fact, ask for a to go plate for your sleeping spouse. They'll probably wrap it up for you.
9. If you want to go back another day (esp the next!), try to take a side exit so no one notices you leaving immediately with a plate of food.
10. I'd recommend 5 days max at the same place. But business people often stay at the same hotel

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(10 cont.) multiple times, only going home for the weekend or a few days at a time.
11. Just remember most hotels are understaffed and underpaid so they're not looking to make more work for themselves.
12. If you're not going alone, have one person walk through the front, ask the front desk when breakfast starts, say you better wake up your partner and let them in through a side door.

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For reference, I work at a homewood and we always serve eggs, bacon/sausage, pastries, muffins, bread, peanut butter and jelly, waffles and fresh fruit.
Dinner varies, but will always include a salad and usually soup and fruit salad, aside from a main dish like pasta, sliders, nachos. Dinner also has free beer and wine 🤷‍♀️
The most they'll do is tell you to leave if they figure it out, but even then they usually won't.
Ok I'm done!
Do crimes! Eat food!

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@quietbecoming many hotels I stay at will ask for your room number when entering for breakfast, do you have any recommendations for people trying for free food in that situation?

@phessler if they ask, I'd recommend lying because the breakfast attendants don't usually have a computer to check the name on a room. If they ask to see your key, there's not a lot you can do though. This system isn't perfect, but I know at my hotel they never bother to ask and everywhere I've stayed I haven't been asked either. that's the reason I mentioned my hotel, because hotels designed for longer stays are generally less secure. Check if they market themselves as such online

@quietbecoming 5a. While you're hanging out, try to see if front desk people or breakfast people ask for your room number. I've had that happen to me (when I was a guest at hotels) about half the time.

@irina that's exactly why I said you should go back by the rooms! You have to look like you came from inside. But if the breakfast section asks for a room, say something with a lower number 205 etc. The breakfast people don't have a computer to verify so as long as it's a real number there's no verification usually.
If they tell you that's the wrong number, say you stay at too many hotels and laugh it off and try again. This is way you might get caught.

@irina however, residence inn/homewoods are smaller hotels and generally have much less security than others

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