A generation of employees taught harsh lessons about watching their money by the 2008 recession, high student loan debt, and a tight job market also seems to be more diligent about watching their expenses on the road.
A new report on dining and expensing by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that millennial employees are more likely to order takeout and more hesitant to run up room-service bills than their older colleagues.
Younger workers are also more apt to look askance at small indulgences like ordering snacks and coffee, even when their corporate travel policies permit such expenses.
Employees who are part of the Baby Boomer generation are the most likely to splurge on client dinners, according to GBTA, while Generation X members tend toward group dinners with colleagues.
Overall, 64 per cent of business travellers dine at upscale casual restaurants, followed by fast casual (52 per cent), fast food (34 per cent) and fine dining (29 per cent) restaurants.
But 51 per cent of millennial travellers said they eat fast food while travelling, while the same percentage of GenX employees preferred fast casual dining and 79 per cent of Boomers preferred upscale casual dining.
“The research reveals that clear generational differences exist when it comes to preferences around dining out while travelling for work. For travel buyers considering a preferred dining programme, it’s important to make sure the programme you choose meets the needs of all of your travellers,” said GBTA research director Jessica Collison.
The report found that 38 per cent of business travellers said their companies have a preferred dining program, and 37 per cent said they would be interested in having one.
Millennials were especially interested in preferred dining programmes tied to a rewards programme, especially if it included a mechanism for donating rewards points to charity.