I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; but if you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime!” Well, what if all you wanted was a side of vegetables? After college, I worked part time for a catering company and I learned a valuable lesson. If you open the food line as a buffet and let people take whatever they want, you will actually serve less food overall, than you would if you stationed a person next to each dish and told them to give every customer a scoop of this and/or a spoonful of that. The vast majority of people are reasonable when it comes to this sort of thing.
Why then, do companies spend so much time and effort making policies about the per diem rates that their travelers will be allowed to spend on things? Travelers tend to police themselves and long before I call a manager, I’ll call a fellow traveler and ask, “Hey Lori, I’m in
The fact is, if a manager tells me that I have a limit of $75 per day to spend on meals and incidentals whether I’m in Midtown Manhattan or in
As for the few bad apples that ruin this concept by expensing lavish and ridiculous meals, I’ve born witness to the fact that their habits change quickly when a manager informs them that, “Due to a recent audit of their itemized receipts, a temporary limit of $40 per day for a meal allowance” will be levied upon them for their next few trips. Honestly, I worked with one of these “bad apples” and I heard my boss ask him once, “
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