Can You Guess The Most Popular Restaurant For Business Meals?
Where do business travelers dine when they’re on the road? The French Laundry? Ruth's Chris? Nope. Lattés, donuts and paninis seize the day. Certify, a popular expenese reporting system, recently analyzed its data to find the 10 most expensed restaurants. More than 5% of all expense reports include a trip to Starbucks. And the most money is spent at Panera Bread, $41.35 on average. Click through to see the most popular spots for business diners.
Execs need their caffeine buzz. And Starbucks keeps finding new items to put that caffeine in: It just debuted its S’mores Frappuccino served with an optional rolled wafer “cookie straw” for an additional 95 cents. We're sure the boss will OK this.
McDonald’s is in the midst of a “turnaround strategy” to boost sagging sales. But it’s still the world’s biggest chain restaurant, with more than 36,000 stores in 119 countries. So unless your business travel plans are taking you to Bolivia or Ghana, you can count on expensing a few burgers from the Golden Arches. The same goes for breakfast sandwiches, as the chain may start serving breakfast all day.
3. Panera Bread
Workers who stop at Panera Bread during their lunch break sometimes turn away when they see the long lines. The St. Louis-based fast-casual chain made it easier for hungry and harried execs to buy their soups and paninis when it unveiled online ordering from a computer, mobile device or kiosk inside one of its nearly 2,000 stores in the US and Canada.
Need proof that guacamole is becoming mainstream? Subway and Dunkin Donuts are offering guacamole as an add-on to all of their sandwiches from May 1 through Labor Day. Would Jared Fogle approve? Probably. Avocados are full of heart-healthy fats.
5. Dunkin' Donuts
Traveling business people aren’t just expensing deep-fried doughy treats at the more than 11k worldwide Dunkin’ Donuts. The chain keeps expanding its menu to include egg sandwiches, flatbreads and coolattas. Most recently, it joined Subway in getting on the guacamole bandwagon.
6. HMS Host
If you travel a lot for work, chances are you’ve come in contact with HMS Host as you wolfed down a ham sandwich before catching your flight to Cincinnati. It comes as no surprise then that HMS Host, which operates airport and highway concessions (including some Cinnabon, California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks locations), nabbed an average of $17.76 from the business traveler.
You can camp out the night before a new Chick-fil-A opens to try your hand at winning free chicken sandwiches for a year. But if that doesn’t pan out, you can expense that $3 chicken sandwich. Chick-fil-A is one of the five fastest growing retailers, with 1,775 stores and plans to roll out 100 stores per year in urban areas.
Some like it hot while others like it even hotter. Wendy’s had the latter camp in mind when it rolled out its newest menu items, the jalapeno fresco spicy chicken and ghost pepper fries. The fries are sprinkled with chopped jalapeno, melted cheddar cheese and a sauce made with ghost peppers, which are more than 200 times hotter than jalapenos. Grab plenty of napkins—you wouldn’t want to cry on your expense report. (Especially if you file it online.)
9. Jimmy John's
Known for its freshly baked bread and “freaky fast” sandwiches, Jimmy John’s is growing at a rapid clip, adding 210 jobs per week, according to the Daily Meal. And something else you probably didn’t know: there's an online store where they sell boxers, bandanas and backpacks.
10. Burger King
Burger King boasted impressive sales recently thanks to new menu items like chicken fries. But the chain offers another kind of fries and other “secret menu” items that you won’t find on the official menu board, according to #HackTheMenu. Try ordering “frings,” or a half order of onion rings and half fries.