When I was on OPM, I learned a lot about wine. Yes, OPM = Other Peoples’ Money, as in the Corporate America expense accounts from which I benefited. Consequently, I find it interesting that today’s business travelers have become extremely frugal. Why?
Certify, a software management company, publishes SpendSmart, a quarterly spending analysis on business travel. According to their report, under food spending, the top three most expensed restaurants in order were Starbucks, McDonald’s and Subway. SpendSmart also ranks restaurants based on travelers’ preferences rather than frequency of purchases; the top five (in order) were Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts. Another expense-report tracking company Concur indicated that spending on dining has declined approximately 11.1 percent.
What is driving business travelers’ frugal dining behavior? According to the Global Business Travel Association, overall spending will be up 5.4 percent this year versus last. In the United States they project spending will be an estimated $272 billion, up from $262 billion in 2012. A major contributing factor is the rise in airfares and hotel rates. As a result, some analysts believe as companies cut back on travel budgets, their employees compensate by spending less on dining. More significantly there is our “grab & go” culture which includes the availability of takeout food, speedy delivery services, as well as mobile online ordering. Oh yes, let’s not forget Wi-Fi available at the restaurants mentioned above and in most hotels, an essential connectivity tool for today’s road warriors.
Have you reduced your OPM?