Certify Releases Q3 Report on Business Expense Trends

Certify Releases Q3 Report on Business Expense Trends
The travel and expense management leader’s quarterly SpendSmart report finds that for some companies, being a customer favorite also translates into more purchases.
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Leading cloud-based travel and expense management software provider Certify announced the results of its latest business spending report, covering the third quarter of 2014. The report, now in its seventh consecutive quarter, tracks spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging and car rentals and highlights top vendors for business travelers. Last quarter, the most expensed vendors included Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway, Hampton Inn, Marriott, Delta, United and National Car Rental.

The quarterly Certify SpendSmart™Report analyzes vendors, expense amounts and satisfaction rating data on business expenses collected directly from end users. Certify SpendSmart reports on millions of receipts and expenses, delivering valuable insights to Certify clients and the business travel and expense industry at large. Certify has been tracking corporate travel and expense data since 2009 and uniquely offers integrated travel booking, travel and expense management and reimbursement in one system.

Some highlights from last quarter include:

More love for Starbucks: The pervasive coffee chain gained 84 cents more per purchase over Q2 and $1.32 more per purchase over the same period last year, according to receipts. The company’s ubiquity, vast drink menu and growing menu choices continue to be popular with business travelers.

McDonald’s hold its own, Dunkin’ Donuts edges up: Even though global fast food chain McDonald’s has seen a decline in U.S. sales in recent months, receipts grew with business travelers, from 2.68% of all meals expensed in Q2 to 2.99% in Q3. Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts edged back into the Top Five Restaurant category, beating out airport vendor HMS Host. The 64-year old chain, which also sells coffee and sandwiches, has one of the highest average meal costs of the top restaurant vendors, at more than $11 per receipt.

Lunch rules: The most expensed meal is lunch, at 37% of all meal expenses compared to 28% for dinner and 34% for breakfast.

Delta Airlines, National Car Rental and Marriott win with sales and customers: Delta and National had the unique distinction of being the number-one expensed and highest rated (by users) company, in their respective categories. Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott were the only hotel chains that made both the top-expensed list and top-rated lists.

“Our latest SpendSmart report shows that while entrenched brands have an advantage with business travelers, there’s still room to shake things up in our consumer economy,” says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify. “Dunkin’ Donuts kicked HMS Host off the top restaurant list and Hilton is no longer a top-expensed hotel vendor. Restaurants, hotels and transportation companies must be always thinking about what customers want and surprising them.”

Q3 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:
Starbucks: 4.57% of expenses, averaging $10.83 per receipt
McDonalds’s: 2.99%, averaging $7.66
Subway: 1.80%, averaging $14.99
Panera Bread: 1.60%, averaging $37.61
Dunkin’ Donuts 1.2%, averaging $11.34

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal

Breakfast: Starbucks, 13.59%
Lunch: McDonalds, 3.28%
Dinner: McDonalds, 1.54%

Top Rated Restaurants (On a scale from 1 to 5, as indicated by travelers)

Olive Garden 4.5
Chick-Fil-A 4.4
Chipotle 4.3
Panera 4.2
Dunkin’ Donuts 4.1

Most-Expensed Hotels

Hampton Inn: 8.68%, of expenses, averaging $216.93
Marriott: 8.33% averaging $244.94
Courtyard by Marriott: 6.10%, averaging $168.12
Holiday Inn: 4.27%, averaging $174.19
Holiday Inn Express: 4.07%, averaging $215.67

Top Rated Hotels

Westin 4.3
Marriott 4.1
Courtyard by Marriott 4.1
Hilton Garden Inn 4.1
Hyatt 4.1

Most Expensed Airlines

Delta: 21.11%, averaging $420.27
United: 14.29% averaging $446.82
American: 9.79% averaging $387.63
US Airways 9.31%, averaging $313.63
Alaska: 1.08% averaging $253.07

Top Rated Airlines

Delta 4.0
Alaska 3.0
American 3.5
US Airways 3.5
United 3.0

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services

National: 22.03%, averaging $183.59
Avis: 15.97%, averaging $189.10
Hertz: 13.95%, averaging $219.25
Enterprise: 12.35%, averaging $199.46
Budget: 4.25%, averaging $215.58

Top Rated Car-Rental Services

National: 4.1
Avis: 4.0
Enterprise: 3.9
Hertz: 3.8
Budget: 3.8

To see the data live online go here: https://www.certify.com/CertifySpendSmartReport.aspx.

About Certify
Certify is the leading online spend management solution for companies of all sizes. Organizations worldwide book travel, complete expense reports, and digitize the procure-to-pay process quickly and easily using Certify cloud and mobile applications. For more information about Certify, please call 1-207-773-6100 or visit www.certify.com.
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