Actual and Reasonable
Personal meals are the meal expenses of travelers who are on a business trip.  Travelers will be reimbursed for personal meal expenses according to actual and reasonable costs.  Original receipts are required. Photocopies and restaurant tear tabs are not acceptable as documentation.  All meals must be documented as to the attendees, titles and the business purpose.  Expenses for spouses in attendance at a meal are not approved unless an explanation is provided in writing that there is a University business purpose (refer to substantiation Table 2.1 IRS 463 Pub.)  Expenses for a spouse must be approved by a Vice President or the President of the University as appropriate. Approved expenses for spouses must be clearly identified on reimbursement/expense documentation for proper tax treatment.

Travelers will be reimbursed for reasonable gratuities on meals. Tips appropriately range between 15% – 20% before local taxes.  Those over 20% percent will be considered excessive and will not be reimbursed.  Gratuities for meals should be included as part of the cost of the meal on the expense report. 

Senior Level Attendees
The person who is most senior at a meal (or other event) should pay for those expenses so that the approval of that expense will then be made at a higher level. For instance, if a Senior Manager is at an event attended primarily by his/her direct reports, then the Senior Manager should pay for all expenses and submit those expenses to his/her supervisor for approval.  Conversely, if a Senior Manager is a guest at an event hosted by a subordinate for the subordinate’s department, then it is acceptable for the subordinate to pay for the expenses and submit them to the Senior Manager for approval.