Skip over navigation

Business Meals

In those instances where University faculty and staff host visitors to the University, the reimbursement for a dinner meal expense is revised from $60 to $75 per person. This is a maximum amount permitted, without exception. The maximum for a breakfast is $20 and lunch is revised from $25 to $40. No exceptions. The number of Brown hosts accompanying a guest for lunch or dinner should be no more than four. No exceptions.

Faculty, staff and students may be reimbursed for approved, necessary and reasonable business meal expenditures. Business meals are those taken with business associates, university guests, job applicants, professional colleagues, or donors, during which University business discussions take place. Business meals are also those taken with other employees when, to ensure privacy and confidentiality, business must be conducted off campus. When authorized by the department head, business meals may also be taken for the purpose of employee recognition or reward. Business meal expenses, including gratuities, should follow the guidelines set forth in the Annual Spending Guidelines. Original receipts are required for all business meal expenses.

Expenses Not Allowable

Meals taken between two or more University employees during which routine business issues are discussed are generally not reimbursable from any University funding source. We encourage all employees to use their judgement as to when such meals are non routine and therefore could be reimbursable by the University. Whenever possible, those meals should be held at the Faculty Club. Also, expenses incurred in relation to the following events are considered to be personal in nature and therefore not reimbursable: parties or meals for birthdays, weddings, births, showers, administrative professional's day, or parties not sponsored by the department and made available to all employees of the department.


Refreshments provided at university or departmental business activities such as committee meetings, business presentations, or in honor of University guests are allowable. Such expenses should be kept to a reasonable level of cost and occurrence.

The purchase of bottled water for reception areas where there is public traffic (employees, students, visitors) is allowable.

Temporary parking permits purchased for visitors through the University's Parking Office are allowable, however payment or reimbursement of parking tickets, even if incurred during the course of University business, is unallowable.