The university will cover or reimburse a business meal expense when it is deemed to be necessary, reasonable and appropriate by a dean, director, department head or designee. This determination should take place before the expense is incurred.

Determining factors:

  • The topic of discussion (meeting) or activity warrants the use of university funds for the meal expense.
  • The benefit derived from incurring the expense is the most effective, efficient and productive way to use university resources.
  • The funds are available.

Effective January 1st, 2024, Business meals and/or drinks with only Seattle University employees do not qualify as allowable business expenses. Specifically, off-campus lunches between university employees to discuss routine work topics are not allowable business expenses. Limited exceptions to this policy must be approved by the division’s Vice-President, Vice-Provost, Provost, or Dean with authorization attached to the expense report. On-campus working meals ordered from university catering for a documented work purpose are allowable. This policy applies to meetings of internal employees and does not impact recruiting and advancement activities with external parties.

Coverage or reimbursement of a business meal will occur when it is an integral part of a business meeting or activity, not as a matter of personal convenience. The receipt must be original, itemized and include the providers name and date and demonstrate that it was paid. The name(s) of all attendees and the purpose of the meeting are required when the expense includes payment for individuals in addition to the requestee. Credit card receipts alone are not acceptable.

The university will cover reasonable costs of alcoholic beverages consumed during a business dinner. Reasonable consumption of alcohol is defined as no more than two alcoholic beverages per person consumed during the course of a complete meal. Dinner hours are between 4pm – 11pm.

Meals and catering do not require purchase orders.

Chartwell’s is the only authorized catering service for on-campus events.