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Occasional Member - Level 1

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or Individual? Capped or Not?

Hi everyone,


We are taking a look at our Expense Policy and were wondering how others handle meals.


  • Do you currently require employees to split meals out to  breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or, do you just have them classify it as an individual or group meal?
  • Do you place limits on each category or in total? Or, do you just allow employees to expense something reasonable?


For us, we currently ask employees to only split between group or individual meals (i.e. they don't classify as breakfast, lunch or dinner). We also don't set a hard cap limit but ask that managers check for reasonableness.




SAP Concur, Former Employee

Hi Zach,


Thanks for posting! 


You are not alone in looking for per diem best practices. This Per Diem Travel Allowance post and this one on Business Meals with Attendees also cover the topic and have some good insights.


This training resource might also help you as you look at meal allowances.   


Hope this helps!

Ashley Bragg
SAP Concur - Community Manager

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Occasional Member - Level 1

Setting specific limits for each meal category (breakfast, lunch, dinner) can help control expenses more closely. However, it may be more restrictive for employees and might require exceptions for special circumstances.

  1. When implementing such limits, it's essential to communicate the rationale behind them to employees, promoting transparency and understanding.
  2. Additionally, offering a variety of healthy and cost-effective meal options, such as the refreshing mandarin orange salad, can mitigate the feeling of restriction.
  3. Flexibility should be built into the policy to accommodate dietary preferences, allergies, or unexpected situations that may arise during business trips or events.
  4. Encouraging employees to provide feedback on the meal policy can help refine it over time, making it more inclusive and effective.
  5. Ultimately, a well-balanced approach to meal expense control can strike a balance between fiscal responsibility and employee satisfaction.