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Business Travelers Choose McDonald’s Over 5-Star Restaurants on the Road

Excerpt from USA Today

Jan 16, 2014 12:00 pm

Skift Take

With all the talk about business travelers going rogue, there is some semblance of company loyalty, or some might call it guilt, in trying to keep expenses down on the road.

— Dennis Schaal

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Business travelers restaurants of choice, over Q4 2013, from Certify's data.


Business travelers aren’t always asking their employers to pay for lavish steakhouse dinners when they’re on the road for work. They’re more likely to spend their dollars at bargain chain eateries such as Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread, and McDonald’s, a study released today shows.

For 2013, the vendors that business travelers spent most of their money at were Starbucks, Delta Air Lines, Avis and Marriott, based on millions of receipts analyzed by Certify, which helps companies track expense accounts. Places that provide free Wi-Fi did particularly well, says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify.

From the Certify survey data:

2013 Most Expensed Vendors
For the full year of 2013, these are the top vendors by major spending category:
Hotels
Most-Expensed: Marriott, average receipt, $225.43
Top Rated: Residence Inn
*2012 Most-Expensed Hotel was Hilton, averaging $270.55

Restaurants
Most-Expensed: Starbucks, average receipt, $9.58
Top Rated: Chick-fil-A
*2012 Most-Expensed Restaurant was Starbucks, averaging $7.54

Car Rentals
Most-Expensed: Avis, average receipt, $171.22
Top Rated: Enterprise
*2012 Most-Expensed Rental Company was National, averaging $182.71

Airlines
Most-Expensed: Delta, average receipt, $390.72
Top Rated Airline: Southwest
*2012 Most-Expensed Airline was Delta, averaging $474.25

Percentage of T&E Budget Spent by Category in 2013
Meals 22.5%
Airfare 15.71%
Misc. 14.92%
Hotel 14.9%
Fuel 12.33%
Cell Phone 5.63%
Car Rental 5.24%
Taxi 3.16%
Shipping 2.36%
Parking 1.63%

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