Starbucks Is The Most Expensed Chain Restaurant For Business Travelers, Proving How Much We All Love Our Coffee

Business travel is frequently a necessary evil — and I say “evil” because, while the traveling part is awesome, you're usually too busy with the “business” part to do much sight seeing — but hey, at least it means you can usually expense your meals while you're on the road. Guess which chain restaurant business travelers expense the most, though? No surprises here: It starts with “St” and ends with “arbucks.” Why is it not a surprise? Because, as everyone knows, at no other time is the ability to get coffee at all hours of the day or night more necessary than when you're traveling for work.

According to recently-released survey data from Certify, we're all major creatures of habit when it comes to our on-the-go meals. Not only was Starbucks the most expensed restaurant overall, but moreover, it also took the crown for most expensed restaurant for breakfast: 13.74 percent of the time, that's where business travelers go to get their morning cup of joe and maybe a breakfast sandwich. What about lunch and dinner? Subway won out for lunchtime with 3.12 percent, while McDonald's is our dinner location of choice at 1.4 percent. Interesting, no? I mean, we can only draw so many conclusions from knowing where we're all going for any particular meal — but from where I'm sitting, it looks like we go to Starbucks for breakfast because… well, coffee, Subway for lunch in an effort to have something ostensibly healthy, and McDonald's for dinner, because by that point, we're too tired to worry about eating “healthy.” That's all speculation on my part, though, so do with it what you will.

Another worthwhile point to note: Just because one chain scored highly on how often it's expensed, doesn't mean that business travelers actually like that chain the best: The restaurants on the top rated restaurants list necessarily match up with the rankings for the most expensed restaurants. You know which chain scored best in the top rated category? Chick-Fil-A. For reals. Chipotle was nipping right at its heels, but still. Chick-Fil-A, you guys. For the curious, Starbucks only ranked fourth on that list — which is still respectable, mind you, but not quite the top slot.

As Eater points out, by the way, the sixth entry on the most expensed list is HMS Host — a company that owns and operates a whoooole lot of different restaurant franchises in airports worldwide. Some of those franchises include Burger King and Starbucks, both of which appear on the list on their own, as well; as such, it's not totally clear how Certify made the distinction between them. Just, y'know… something to chew on.

Here are the top five most expensed chain restaurants for business travelers; head on over to Certify to see the full report.

1. Starbucks

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Expense percentage: 5.32 percent

Average amount: $12.22

2. McDonald's

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Expense percentage: 2.56 percent

Average amount: $7.91

3. Panera Bread

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Expense percentage: 1.81 percent

Average amount: $41.35 (Wowzers!)

4. Subway

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Expense percentage: 1.55 percent

Average amount: $18.81

5. Dunkin' Donuts

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Expense percentage: 1.47 percent

Average amount: $12.37

Images: Getty Images (5); Giphy (2)