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Incidental Meals

Contact: General Accounting, (205) 934-9330

UAB may pay for meals and refreshments “incidental to the meeting” which are served during formal internal meetings whose primary purpose is UAB business. This specifically relates to UAB business meetings or training programs where only UAB employees are present. If the meeting participants leave their normal business activities to go out to a restaurant for a meal, the presumption will be that the primary purpose was to eat, rather than to conduct UAB business, even if UAB business was discussed. When meals are incidental to a meeting, it is expected that the group will continue through the meeting’s agenda with little interruption, rather than breaking for the meal. Such expenditures should be charged to object code 8709030 “Incidental Refreshments”. The following guidelines apply to meals incidental to a meeting:

This policy is only applicable in instances where UAB employees are attending on campus business meetings or training programs. Student directed or focused events are not included in this guidance. Incidental meals are allowable in the instance of meeting/training events lasting all day. Exceptions may be requested for meetings held during a meal time with appropriate documentation noting the urgent nature of the meeting and rationale for having the meeting during a meal break. Please use the incidental refreshments exception form. All other incidental refreshments/meals, if provided, should be paid utilizing non UAB funds. Also, state funds cannot be used to provide snacks during a meeting held outside of meal time. If applicable, these snacks should be covered by non UAB funds.

Except for meals and refreshments incidental to UAB business meetings as authorized by the State Attorney General’s 1989 ruling (see the preceding paragraphs) or meals per the travel regulations, the State Examiners still consider food and beverages for UAB employees to be personal in nature and therefore unallowable costs.

Per the State Examiners, alcoholic beverage or related costs can never be paid for or reimbursed by UAB. Some examples of alcohol-related costs include: corkage fees, taxes on the alcohol, tips directly attributable to the alcohol (such as tips to a bartender for alcoholic beverage service, tips to a wine steward or sommelier, the applicable portion of a percentage meal tip or service charge, etc.) The person requesting a payment is responsible for ensuring that all alcoholic beverages or alcohol-related costs have been excluded from payment requests prior to submission. The person requesting payment should clearly note such exclusions on the receipt, to make it clear what is included in the reimbursement request.

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