This policy provides guidelines with regard to the purchase and reimbursement of meals and entertainment when traveling or entertaining on behalf of the University.
May, 2023Responsible Office
This policy applies to the procurement of meals and entertainment by and for all faculty, staff, students and postdocs traveli ng and entertaining on behalf of the University and seeking reimbursement for related expens es from the University regardless of the funding source.
It is the responsibility of every Penn representative to act in a prudent and reasonable manner when entertaining on behalf of the University. Penn representatives are expected to be familiar with the meal guidelines listed below, to abide by those guidelines and to retain and submit itemized receipts for meals of $25 or more.
Full responsibilities of approvers can be found in Policy #2352.
Reimbursable personal meals are defined as individual meal expenses incurred when traveling on an out-of-town business trip. Consistent with IRS guidance, reimbursable personal meal expenses are those incurred on business trips requiring an overnight stay. Travelers will be reimbursed for personal meal expenses, provided they are documented and reasonable. Meals should be taken at the most economical restaurant fitting the occasion.
A per diem is an allowance amount determined using the U.S. government tables to cover meals and incidentals while traveling for business purposes. Per diem amounts are published by the General Services Administration (GSA) and are specific to major cities and built into the Concur-TEM system.
Business meals are meals with a clearly substantiated business purpose and are directly associated with the active conduct of University business. At a business meal, the business discussion is the primary purpose of the meal. Examples of business meals include meetings with business associates, professional colleagues, students and others at which a bona fide business discussion takes place. Business meals should adhere to the following rules: