Travel expense management is one of the most important factors in making sure your company is as profitable as possible. You can control and predict costs like travel and lodging with pre-negotiated contracts and allocate budget accordingly, but one of the more difficult aspects to manage is meal expenses. Business Travel News (BTN) conducted a survey that reported food expenses are the third highest expenditure, falling behind only travel and lodging.
Part of the issue is the lack of an industry standard on how to manage meal expenses. BTN’s survey returned 9 different results for how companies manage meal expenses, with no result coming in above 44%. Keep reading to learn how to improve your food expense management.
Adapt to New Technology
In BTN’s survey, 16% of respondents claimed that they used new-age food delivery apps to order food to their hotel or worksite. This new progression leaves room for huge savings for companies with frequent travelers.
Food delivery apps allow users to order quality food from notable restaurants without ever leaving their seat. This will save your employees time, and it will often be cheaper than dining in and tipping at a sit-down restaurant.
The problem with these new app services is that most companies haven’t integrated a policy on how to handle meals ordered this way. Only 6% of companies who responded to the survey have any literature in their policy about reimbursements for food delivery apps.
Communicating with your employees about meal expenses is vital in minimizing travel expenses. 64% of respondents to the survey said the companies communicate through expense policies, but 20% said they had no communication at all. Your employees should completely understand company policy to ensure that there isn’t any confusion resulting in employee tension.
Additionally, many companies negotiate meals into their deal with various choices of lodging. If you have negotiated complimentary breakfast or meals in the hotel’s restaurant, make these options mandatory for your employees, unless they want to spend their own money.
Don’t Fall Behind
Although meal expenses while abroad aren’t a new concept for companies, there have been a few factors that have changed in recent years, like the ones mentioned here. Companies are revisiting and revising their policies accordingly. In fact, 54% of survey takers said they have either taken initiatives to better manage dining expenditures in the past two years, or they plan to this year. Consider how food expenses have changed and revisit or establish an appropriate policy. Communicate your new changes and prepare for a great year with your company.
Are you planning a corporate trip this year that includes the burden of meal expense management? Work with Teplis Travel, an industry-leading corporate travel management company that works with clients of all sizes. Contact Teplis today to learn more about a custom solution for your needs!