How about an iced caramel mocha with your hotel room key?

Hotel chains seeking to accommodate guests’ changing lifestyles are retrofitting their lobbies to look and feel more like a Starbucks coffee shop as they entice guests to hang out and have a beverage.

Sneeze-guard breakfast buffets and cafeteria-style seating are out. Espresso machines, sleek bars and Wi-Fi are in.

For the hotel industry, which has been hit hard during the economic downturn, generating more food and beverage sales is a way to boost revenues without taking the risk of raising room rates.

The move also reflects the growing importance of handsome lobbies designed around work and socializing that has taken hold throughout the hotel industry, inspired in part by concepts born in boutique hotels in New York City and popularized by theStarwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.’s W brand.

The trend has spread to mid-tier brands that typically offer more limited service than higher-end chains.

Hilton Worldwide Inc.’s Hilton Garden Inn chain’s new remodeling plan includes what employees call a “Starbuckian area” with communal seating for the laptop set.

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