Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Occasional Member - Level 3

Alcohol - would you approve this?



I'm a relative Newbie on this board and I work for a small biotech company.   Client entertainment meals are key to our business so there's no formal restrictions regarding alcohol.   I'm running into a grey area where a group of field technicians who travel constantly have elected to purchase food for meals at a grocery store, along with wine and/or liquor, and eat in their hotel room.   They see it as a choice not to dine out at a restaurant.      I don't feel that purchasing bottles of wine represents the company well and there's a whole potential host of issues that could result from reimbursing employees for bottles of alcohol.     I'm curious if there are other companies that have what I consider, a loose alcohol policy.   Management will not impose restrictions around alcohol in the policy because they acknowledge it's part of client entertainment.      Thoughts?

Frequent Member - Level 1

That is indeed an interesting situation.


Our expense policy treats alcohol as part of client entertainment separately to meals while travelling.  For meals it is limited to one drink with dinner.


In your situation I have some sympathy for regular travellers that don't want to eat out all of the time.  I would look at the volume of alcohol and the frequency - if they're staying in the same place for a few nights and buy one bottle of wine, I'd let it slide; if it's a bottle per day then I'd be looking at restrictions through policy and also  be concerned about their health.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@rmconners does your company have a policy for employees when they dine out alone that an alcoholic drink is allowed? If so, then the same policy should extend to them if they decide to eat in their hotel room. I understand buying an entire bottle of wine could be a concern, but if they dine in their room more than once, then they are likely getting more than one day's use of the bottle.


Now, the other side of the coin is if alcohol is part of entertainment, then the employees should only be allowed to expense alcohol on group meals. It is a bit of a gray area and without any sort of written policy, there isn't a way to enforce any rule.


I guess the decision to be made is this: Is alcohol allowed for dining alone? If so, what will the policy be?

Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
Did this response answer your question? Be sure to select “Accept as Solution” so your fellow community members can be helped by it as well.
Occasional Member - Level 3

Hi Kevin,


Alcohol is fine if an employee is dining alone in a restaurant.  Our policy does not specifically mention limits and if I were to include something on that, it would likely be vetoed by compliance.   As I mentioned, there's no limit because of the nature of our business.     Client entertainment is a huge part of   our business.   I'm also trying not to make our policy too intricate because no one will read ---let alone comply.   I do like your idea of having a line or two surrounding alcohol when dining alone and will definitely consider that.