We have had multiple clients within the Government Contracting industry establish internal limits by group to determine employee group meals. Example:
Sr Manager: $75
Highest ranking individual picks up the check.
Note, $$ includes tips and alcohol. Also note: Alcohol is an unallowable expense in Government Contracting and is accounted for in a separate account.
If over $200 (in my example) Partner/Highest ranking individual eats (pun intended) the overage.
This limit hit home when the client had a Sr. Manager take out 5 managers to celebrate a project. The bill was $300. After deducting his $75, the balance was $225/5 = $45 per manager. The poor (now poorer) Sr. Manager “ate” $100!
Both GovCon and Commercial, another client set a policy regarding group meals where the policy does not allow group meals purchase but requiring each participant to purchase their meal which then allows for individual meals.
On the commercial side, we’ve seen multiple clients with individual meals guidelines but not group meals or Business Meals expense type guidelines.
Side note: for Business Meals, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 31.201-2 determine the allowability of any cost that is 1) Reasonable in nature and cost, 2) follow GAAP and 3) within the guidelines of the specific contract.