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Occasional Member - Level 3

Group Meal Guidelines/Limits

Hi, does your company have limits for group meals? We currently have a daily meal limit for individual meals only and I'm wondering if other companies have limits or guidelines for group meals also. When you reply, please make sure to include your industry. I searched the interned for any studies on group meals but could not find anything. If you know of any, please let me know. Thank you!
Occasional Member - Level 2

We have  had multiple clients within the Government Contracting industry establish internal limits by group to determine employee group meals.  Example:

Meal:  $200

               Partner: $100

               Sr Manager: $75

               Manager: $25

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.