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Where Travelers Are Spending the Corporate Bucks

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July 16, 2013

Travel and expense management software provider Certify has released the latest report on the top expenses of corporate travelers and where they prefer to do business.

The list of top-rated food chains, hotels, airlines and car rental agencies for the second quarter of the year isn’t markedly different from Certify’s SpendSmart report released in the first quarter (see Starbucks Led the Way on Employee Expense Reports). But this time around, there were some differences in the top-rated vendors and the regional up-and-comers that appealed to traveling executives and employees.

The top-expensed vendors for the quarter include Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway, Marriott, Hampton Inn, Avis, Delta and United. Top-rated vendors (by business travelers) included Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, Avis, National Car Rental, Westin, Residence Inn, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Regional up-and-comers included Square Inc. and Uber Technologies (San Francisco), Freshens (Atlanta), Au Bon Pain (Boston), Trimana Express (L.A.) and Zip Car (Chicago).

The SpendSmart report indicated that Starbucks again dominated breakfast with 16.1 percent of expenses and averaging $7.94 per receipt. At lunch, Subway also again claimed the top spot in with 3.12 percent of all lunch expenses, averaging $11.74 per receipt. Yet McDonald’s lost its former top dinner spot to airport restaurant company HMS Host, which had 1.59 percent of receipts for an average of $21.36.

“Despite a few shifts, our latest report indicates how entrenched the top spots are in each category and how difficult it is for vendors to grab market share from each other in a highly-competitive environment for business dollars,” said Certify CEO Robert Neveu in a statement.

Most-Expensed Restaurants

Starbucks:                   5.02 percent of expenses, averaging $9.23
McDonald’s:                2.84 percent, averaging $7.79
Subway:                       1.82 percent, averaging $13.70
HMS Host:                   1.54 percent, averaging $15.44 [moved up from #5 spot in Q1]
Panera Bread:             1.44 percent, averaging $35.66

Most-Expensed Hotels

Marriott:                       9.41 percent of expenses, averaging $231.84
Hampton Inn:              6.87 percent, averaging $203.05
Courtyard by Marriott:  5.96 percent, averaging $168.92
Holiday Inn:                 4.61 percent, averaging $157.38
Hilton:                          4.37 percent, averaging $177.82

Most Expensed Airlines

Delta:                           21.23 percent of expenses, averaging $374.72
United:                         13.34 percent, averaging $420.08
Southwest:                  9.18 percent, averaging $292.11
American:                    9.14 percent, averaging $371.88
US Airways:                 8.7 percent, averaging $272.76

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services

Avis:                            17.06 percent of expenses, averaging $171.44
National:                     15.2 percent, averaging $173.63
Hertz:                          13.97 percent, averaging $230.05
Enterprise                   10.26 percent, averaging $200.84
Budget                         4.14 percent, averaging $180.65

Regional Highlights:

Atlanta
Freshens takes the #5 spot among Atlanta restaurants with 1.24 percent of receipts. Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli takes the #6 spot in Atlanta restaurants with .75 percent of receipts.

Boston
In Boston, Starbucks beats out Dunkin’ Donuts with 9.27 percent of all meals compared to Dunkin’ Donuts at 3.72 percent. Au Bon Pain moves into third place for most-expensed meal vendor with 2.13 percent of meals.

Chicago
ZipCar maintains the #6 rental car company spot, increas¬ing to 5.79 percent from 4.6 percent in Q1, easily beating Budget Rent A Car.

Dallas
Starbucks takes the top spot by a wide mar¬gin, with 7.56 percent of meals expensed over McDonald’s at 2.78 percent.

Los Angeles
Boingo Wireless continues to impress, again claiming the #2 spot among general expenses with 3.64 percent of receipts. Trimana Express takes the #6 spot in most-expensed restaurants with 1.32 percent of receipts.

New York
Starbucks and Seamless, Inc. take the #1 and the #2 spots for meals in New York with 6.91 percent and 4.87 percent of receipts, respectively. McDonald’s, Subway and Dunkin Donuts combine to achieve a mere 2.18 percent of all meals expensed.

San Francisco
Square Inc. grows to 11.89 percent of general expenses in San Francisco, demonstrating the pervasiveness of its service. Uber Technologies continues to change the rental car space, claiming 2.59 percent of general expenses in San Francisco.

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