Market Overview

New Research Identifies Business Travel Dining Trends


Clear generational differences exist when it comes to business traveler
dining, payment and expensing options, according to new research
released today by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in
partnership with Dinova, Inc. According to first-of-its-kind research
that delves into the psyche of the business diner, Millennials are more
likely to dine on-the-go, while Boomers are most likely to wine and dine
clients and Gen Xers typically dine in a group with colleagues.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

How do different generations prefer to eat out when traveling for work? (Graphic: Business Wire)

How do different generations prefer to eat out when traveling for work? (Graphic: Business Wire)

Contrary to popular views that Millennials are often entitled or
difficult employees, they are much more likely to have reservations
about ordering extras such as room service (66 percent) or coffee and
snacks (70 percent) while traveling as opposed to their Gen X or Boomer
colleagues – even when their travel policy permits it.

When asked what diners can expense in their travel policies, 71 percent
of respondents said client meals, 56 percent said group meals and 46
percent said alcoholic beverages. Additionally, 72 percent said they pay
for meals with a corporate credit card.

"A one-size-fits-all approach often isn't the answer when it comes to
crafting travel policy," said Jessica Collison, GBTA research director.
"The research reveals that clear generational differences exist when it
comes to preferences around dining out while traveling for work. For
travel buyers considering a preferred dining program, it's important to
make sure the program you choose meets the needs of all of your

"The research findings really highlight the significance of
understanding the spectrum of travelers within an organization," said
Alison Galik, president of Dinova. "Travel managers are serving multiple
generational groups, each with their own preferences. The more they can
dial in on what makes for a good travel experience, on the opportunities
for reducing employee stress and increasing job satisfaction – and then
cater to and engage their travelers in those areas – the more effective
their overall program will be. We believe dining is an area that
absolutely fills this bill. Cultivating a successful preferred dining
program can both serve a broad range of needs and help create an
unforgettable travel experience."

Technology & Dining

In today's world, technology has become an essential part of how
employees of all ages travel, but as digital natives, Millennials
especially embrace technology and not surprisingly, are more willing to
use the tools and technology made available to them through their travel
programs. The research found that 63 percent of business travelers
research where to dine prior to leaving for their trip. When broken out
generationally, Millennials are much more likely to use Uber Eats while
Boomers prefer to search for the best-reviewed restaurants in the area
and use Yelp. In fact, 63 percent of business travelers have dining
related apps on their mobile phone. In the last year they used their
device to search for local places to eat (54 percent), to make a
reservation (47 percent) and to search social media for information
about a restaurant (33 percent).

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy on the road has become front and center for business
travelers, which is why the vast majority (77 percent) of business
travelers consider it to be important when traveling. Additionally, 64
percent prefer healthier menu options and 43 percent want to see
published nutritional facts. When ranking factors for choosing a
restaurant on the road, three in 10 Millennials rank the nutritional
value of the meal in their top two reasons.

Where Are Business Travelers Dining?

Dining is always on the mind of the road warrior, and the type of dining
they do depends on the trip. The study found that in total, 64 percent
of business travelers take their money to upscale casual restaurants,
followed by fast casual (52 percent), fast food (34 percent) and
finally, fine dining (29 percent).

Preferred Dining Programs

Similar to how companies have preferred airline, hotel or car rental
vendors, a preferred dining program provides a list of policy approved
restaurants for dining on official company business. Nearly 4 in 10 (38
percent) business travelers say their companies have a preferred dining
program and a similar share (37 percent) are interested in having one.

Additionally, 74 percent say they would be more motivated to use a
preferred program if they earned rewards. Interestingly, 75 percent of
Millennials would be more likely to become a member if rewards points
could be redeemed toward their favorite charity, compared to 61 percent
of Gen Xers and 42 percent of Baby Boomers.

More Information

Download an infographic here
with key highlights from the research. An Executive Summary is available
exclusively to GBTA members by clicking

To request an interview with a GBTA or Dinova expert for a deeper dive
into this research or to see the full array of stats around business
dining trends revealed in the research, please contact Colleen
. Download Dinova's whitepaper, The
Business of Business Dining
, based on the research.

During GBTA
Convention 2018
in San Diego, GBTA will host an education
to discuss the latest trends in business travel dining and
how travelers' dining preferences could affect your travel program on
August 14 at 10:30 AM.

GBTA's official podcast, The
Business of Travel
, will also tackle the topic on November 7.

About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world's premier
business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the
Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA's
9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business
travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class
education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global
network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active
contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth,

About Dinova, Inc.

Dinova (
is the only company providing an innovative, proprietary marketplace
exclusively focused on connecting expense account diners to quality
restaurants nationwide. Dinova influences more than $7 billion annually
in business meals and entertainment expenses. Participating companies
range from millions of small to medium sized businesses to hundreds of
Fortune 500 enterprises, and its 16,000+ restaurant network includes
local independents as well as national full-service and limited-service
restaurant brands, encompassing all price levels and cuisines.

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