Business traveller food: You can do better than Starbucks

A NEW report from Certify, a company that tracks American expense reports, confirms that my fellow business travellers aren’t eating as well as the expensed-steakhouse-dinner stereotype implies. Instead, we are chowing down at chain restaurants and coffee shops, with Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway, Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts leading the way. (Certify’s main business is selling expense management and travel booking software. The survey isn’t the company’s central focus—it is just a clever way of drawing more attention to its brand.)Certify’s study does not adjust for the availability of chain restaurants. So it is hardly surprising that the ten most-expensed restaurants in America mostly mirrors QSR Magazine’s ranking of the fast food restaurants with the most outlets in the US. Without some more rigorous statistical analysis, it is hard to tell which chains are out- or under-performing relative to their size, but Robert Neveu, Certify’s CEO, has repeatedly told reporters that restaurants and coffee shops that offer free Wi-Fi internet do better in his company’s study than those that don’t. That makes sense. And, despite the steak-dinner stereotype, so does the idea that business travellers mostly patronise chains. Business travellers like convenience, and chains are popular because when you see them in an unfamiliar city, you at least know what to expect.That said, …

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