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Accounting & Audit

Report Shows Business Travelers’ Favorites: Uber, Starbucks, Chipotle, Marriott Top List

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are quickly transforming the market for taxicabs and limousines, according to the latest SpendSmart report by Certify, a cloud-based travel and expense management software developer.

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Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are quickly transforming the market for taxicabs and limousines, according to the latest SpendSmart report by Certify, a cloud-based travel and expense management software developer.

The report tracks spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging and car rentals and highlights top vendors for business travelers using data from millions of business expense receipts processed in Certify.

In Q1 of 2015, an average 46 percent of all total paid car rides were through Uber, compared with 15 percent in Q1 of 2014. Rides with taxicabs (a category which includes limousines and shuttles) dropped to an average 53 percent of paid car receipts in the first quarter, compared with 85 percent in Q1 of 2014.

While the shift toward Uber is driven by the preferences of individual business travelers, company accounting departments should also be happy. Certify’s data indicates that using Uber is generally cheaper: the average ride for Q1 was $31.24 on Uber, compared with $35.40 for taxis.

“More companies are choosing Uber for Business every day to offer their employees a safe, affordable and reliable option in over 300 cities globally,” says Max Crowley, manager of Uber for Business. “Across business travel we have seen the strongest growth on uberX, our lowest cost option. Employees recognize the value of riding with Uber and are saving their companies money in the process.”

“The business community is looking for value and convenience, and at the same time this is a group that is interested in innovation,” says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify. “Ridesharing services are making inroads into corporate budgets because they combine all of those things.”

The Certify report also offers an analysis of Uber’s growing market share in several major U.S. urban markets including New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“The sharing economy is bringing disruption to all of these markets, but it’s fascinating to see how that disruption unfolds from city to city,” says Neveu. “For example, business people in Dallas and San Francisco are now expensing Uber more often than taxis, while taxis still dominate market share in New York.”

Q1 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:

Starbucks: 5.32% of expenses, averaging $12.22 per receipt
McDonald’s: 2.56%, averaging $7.91
Panera Bread: 1.81%, averaging $41.35
Subway: 1.55%, averaging $18.81
Dunkin’ Donuts: 1.47%, averaging $12.37

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal

Breakfast: Starbucks 13.74%
Lunch: Subway 3.12%
Dinner: McDonald’s 1.40%

Top Rated Restaurants (On a scale from 1 to 5, as indicated by travelers)

Chick-Fil-A 4.4
Chipotle 4.3
Starbucks 4.2
Panera Bread 4.2
Dunkin’ Donuts 4.1

Most Expensed Airlines

Delta: 20.67%, averaging $399.64
Southwest: 13.42%, averaging $289.13
United: 13.32%, averaging $412.50
American: 11.32%, averaging $361.34
US Airways: 8.79%, averaging $300.59

Top Rated Airlines

JetBlue 4.5
Alaska Airlines 4.4
Southwest 4.4
Delta 4.0
United 3.8

Most-Expensed Hotels

Marriott: 9.4% of expenses, averaging $239.02
Hampton Inn: 7.97%, averaging $211.98
Courtyard by Marriott: 6.59%, averaging $170.74
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.27%, averaging $184.98
Holiday Inn Express: 4.14%, averaging $222.86

Top Rated Hotels

Westin Hotels 4.5
Homewood Suites 4.3
Hilton 4.2
Hyatt 4.2
Courtyard by Marriott 4.1

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services

National: 22.7%, averaging $186.29
Enterprise: 20.46%, averaging $131.46
Hertz: 13.8%, averaging $223.01
Avis: 13.09%, averaging $189.80
Budget: 3.28%, averaging $195.59

Top Rated Car-Rental Services

Enterprise: 4.3
National: 4.1
Hertz: 4.0
Avis: 3.8
Budget: 3.6