Living on an Expense Account

Living on an expense account ain’t easy

Do you have a love hate relationship with business travel?   I know I do. When I’m on the road for extended periods of time, I start to get cranky and bitch a lot about being away from home. When I get stuck in the office for too long, I start to get cranky and bitch about being stuck in the office. It’s possible that I am just cranky and like to bitch a lot, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about in this post.  I wanted to talk about the joys of eating out on the company dime, the lavish meals and cocktails  that your average business travelor gets to enjoy while jetsetting around the country. Here’s an average a pretty typical dining day for me on the road:

Breakfast:  Free hotel food or Starbucks (sometimes both)

Lunch: I typically dine with colleagues in the work place because my employer Publix Super Markets provides a free meal at most of their support locations.

Dinner is when I let my hair down and go out, usually eating a $10-15 dinner at a local dining establishment, rather than chain restaurant most of the time.

That’s how I roll – and for the record, we have a daily suggested food allowance for business travel that is set in the mid-thirties range.

Not suprisingly, it’s how most most cost conscious business travelors roll. According to the New York Daily news, Starbucks is the most popular dining spot for employees traveling on business, according to a report from travel and expense management company Certify.  In 2012, employees expensed nearly 21,000 transactions at the coffee shop retailer with the green and white logo, with bills averaging $7.54.

Here’s the top five dining expensed dining spots in the U.S., and the average bill price for 2012 according to Certify:

  • Starbucks – $7.54
  • McDondald’s  – $6.73
  • Subway – $11.88
  • Panera Bread – $19
  • Burger King – $8.45

The report also tracked the most expensed airlines, hotels, rental car services and cities. The top performers included Delta Air Lines, Hilton Hotels, National Car Rental, and the city of Chicago.

Where do you eat, drink, fly while on the road?

What’s your favorite dining spot on the road? Where do you spend your limited funds?  Let us know in the comments!

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Michael Vandervort

Mike Vandervort is Human resources strategist. HR consultant, writer and speaker. His specialties include Social Media, Employee Relations, HR, & Labor Relations. Connect with Michael.

ON AIR WITH WORKOLOGY