Scooters on a business trip? T&E reports show popularity of Uber, Grubhub and new companies

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As business travelers and employees file travel-and-expense reports, they rack up a lot of receipts — and data, which gives a snapshot of how people are using ride-shares and food delivery services like Uber and Grubhub as well as documenting the rise of electric scooters for rent, oddly enough.

After assessing 10 million T&E reports every quarter in its spend management system, Certify has determined that Uber remains the most-expensed vendor — with Starbucks, Lyft, Amazon and Delta rounding out the top 5.

Certify’s SpendSmart report for Q2 2019 reveals that Uber is still the dominant ride-share service, accounting for 73% of all car-related hailings. Lyft followed at 22%, leaving taxis with only about 6% of rider usage.

In the last three years, Uber and Lyft’s pricing has remained generally stagnant (each around $25 a ride on average), while taxis have a significantly higher price point. In New York, the only location where taxis have managed to hold a chunk of the market, has still dropped user rates since 2018 from 37% to 25%.

Top 10 Most-Expensed Vendors

Source: Certify

Uber, car rental and scooters

Although not a leading expense, electric scooter companies have appeared on business T&E reports.

“The emergence of scooters-as-a-service shows business travelers are time- and cost-conscious — if there’s a better way to get around, the business travel community will find it,” Certify CEO Robert Neveu said in a press release.

Scooter company Lime leads this area of business, collecting 57.5% of riders, while Bird holds 30%. Lesser-known companies Razor, Skip and Spin have relatively lower prices, below $5 on average, but are not as widely used.

Ride-share experiences seem to be more commonly used for work-related functions, as Uber holds a 73% expense rate while the leading car rental company, National Car Rental, has an expense rate of 26%.

The Top 5 Most-Expensed Rental Car Firms

Source: Certify

Did anyone order food?

The other larger area covered for business personnel is food delivery.

“I’m pleased to see the diversity of options and parity in the food delivery space,” Neveu said. “Meals have long been a staple business expense, and quick-service providers have dominated the market. But thanks to the sharing economy, companies have more options, which saves them money and increases employee satisfaction.”

Grubhub, once the driving force and main source for online food service deliveries that held 33% of expenses a year ago, is now facing fierce competition with DoorDash, a customer favorite. Uber Eats delivered meals of $30 on average, with its nearest competitor having an average cost of $60. This quarter, these three companies hold around 20% each of the receipts, with Grubhub just ahead at 27%, and smaller delivery companies Postmates, Caviar and Seamless in tow.

Although it is unclear whether the food is being ordered to work or on business trips, the “rise of on-demand food delivery and scooter services really underscores how important convenience is to the business travel community,” Certify’s CEO said.

Top food-delivery businesses

Source: Certify

Among food and drink vendors, McDonald’s is the most expensed vendor for lunch at 3% and dinner at 2%, while Starbucks is most-frequented in the morning, holding 18% of expenses. Starbucks also tops the list as the most-expensed restaurant, accounting for 5% of all meal expenses, with an average expense amount of $12.

In terms of lodging, Marriott heads the list as the most-expensed hotel at 10%, with the Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott in close proximity.

In air travel, Delta was the most-expensed airline last quarter with about 20%, with American at 19% and United at 15%. JetBlue and Southwest were customer favorites, the report said.

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