University of Minnesota  FAQ

Hospitality and Entertainment of Non-Employees


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. A faculty member attended an annual meeting that was held locally. The faculty member took collaborators to dinner and paid for the meal. The faculty member is not in travel status, but the others attendees are. Should the entire amount be reimbursed?

    No, all parties must pay for their own meals. The collaborators are in travel status and should claim reimbursement for their own meals in compliance with their organizations’ travel policies.

  2. A faculty member, a Postdoc and a Grad RA traveled to an out of state conference and all are in travel status. They met with a recruit who also attended the conference. They all went to dinner together and discussed opportunities at the University. The faculty member paid for everyone’s dinner and is requesting reimbursement. Is this allowed?

    Yes, this is allowed as the dinner was for the purpose of recruitment. The employees in travel status must reduce their per diem for that meal.

  3. I am hosting an event with Residents and Fellows attending. Are they treated as employees, students, or external parties?

    Residents and Fellows are treated as students for purposes of this example and the Administrative Policy: Business Expenses must be followed.

  4. Delivery of catering (food) of $500. What is a reasonable tip?

    Any mandatory fees added to the bill should be taken into account before deciding on the amount of the tip. In addition, the situation should be considered. While it might be reasonable to tip 20% if catering involves setup, serving and cleanup, it would not be reasonable to tip 20% on a $500 order if it is just brought to the lobby.

  5. Should I calculate the per attendee cost based on the number of planned attendees or the number that actually attend?

    Despite actual attendance, total expenses must be calculated based on planned number of attendees and must be well documented in advance.