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Thursday, June 4, 2009

We Win! San Francisco Sells Costliest Business Traveler Food (Or Hosts Most Profligate Business Travelers)

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 12:50 PM

click to enlarge Eighteen bucks for green eggs and ham? You're ripping me off, Sam I Am! - DR. SEUSS
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Eighteen bucks for green eggs and ham? You're ripping me off, Sam I Am!
San Francisco has become the country's most expensive place for business travelers to eat, according to the New Jersey-based Institute of Management and Administration. 

"San Francisco has unseated New York City as the winner of the 'I'm living large' competition, with a business traveler in the City by the Bay spending $137 per day on meals," according to the July issue of the Institute's Controller's Report.

The Institute's methodology apparently involves finding the most expensive, blandest possible food, then tacking on a few dollars for good measure. Who says profligate business executives are bad for the economy?

According to the report, a San Francisco breakfast of two eggs with bacon, toast, orange juice and coffee cost more than $18; lunch of a sandwich, slice of pie, and soda cost more than $25; and dinner of steak, soup, wine, pie, and coffee cost more than $76.

According to the Institute, the best way to contain these costs is through expense report monitoring.

According to us, an even better method is to require travelers to exit the Fairmont Hotel and walk a block or two. Even tourist traps such as Sears Fine Food charge less than $10 for breakfast and lunch. A few more blocks waddling --  and just another two bucks -- will get travelers get their eggs topped with truffles and caviar at Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Cafe at the Ferry Building. As for spending $76 apiece on a steak-and-pie dinner, we're sure there are at least 500 local restaurateurs who would gladly beat that.

Here's the entire table, from Business Traveller News:

Food Costs in 40 U.S. Cities
Rank City Breakfast Lunch Dinner 15% Tip Total

1 San Francisco $18.09 $25.24 $76.21 $17.93 $137.48
2 New York City 12.56 26.35 74.99 17.08 130.98
3 Portland, Ore. 12.14 21.23 74.50 16.18 124.05
4 Los Angeles 14.51 17.91 74.21 15.99 122.62
5 Seattle 13.35 19.79 71.92 15.76 120.81
6 Honolulu 14.55 21.47 68.55 15.69 120.26
7 Miami 11.36 20.14 72.11 15.54 119.15
8 White Plains, N.Y. 13.17 23.78 65.21 15.32 117.48
9 Washington, D.C. 12.26 24.77 64.84 15.28 117.14
10 Philadelphia 11.52 21.92 68.22 15.25 116.92
11 San Diego 13.07 20.71 67.20 15.15 116.13
12 San Jose, Calif. 14.43 18.83 65.91 14.87 114.04
13 Las Vegas 11.91 20.54 65.79 14.74 112.98
14 Boston 10.75 21.23 65.90 14.68 112.56
15 Minneapolis 12.82 20.48 64.32 14.64 112.27
16 Hartford, Conn. 11.57 19.56 66.38 14.63 112.14
17 Detroit 14.27 22.03 61.19 14.62 112.11
18 Anaheim, Calif. 13.41 18.68 65.33 14.61 112.03
19 Sacramento, Calif. 12.56 18.94 65.91 14.61 112.01
20 Phoenix 12.17 19.85 64.79 14.52 111.32
21 Albany, N.Y. 13.38 20.19 63.00 14.49 111.06
22 Houston 11.80 18.81 65.90 14.48 110.99
23 Chicago 10.87 19.85 65.21 14.39 110.32
24 Santa Barbara, Calif. 14.58 20.99 60.21 14.37 110.15
25 Oakland, Calif. 11.91 19.88 63.96 14.36 110.11
26 Charlotte, N.C. 11.22 20.42 63.92 14.33 109.90
27 Atlanta 13.42 19.62 62.48 14.33 109.84
28 Dallas 11.79 18.83 64.35 14.24 109.21
29 Columbus, Ohio 11.09 20.19 63.05 14.15 108.49
30 Cleveland 11.74 20.83 61.19 14.06 107.81
31 Newark, N.J. 9.86 20.54 63.26 14.05 107.70
32 Providence, R.I. 10.22 20.54 62.22 13.95 106.92
33 Cincinnati 11.33 19.68 61.76 13.91 106.68
34 Austin, Texas 11.43 18.64 62.22 13.84 106.14
35 Pittsburgh 11.39 19.22 61.67 13.84 106.12
36 Baltimore 11.50 19.92 58.66 13.51 103.58
37 Buffalo, N.Y. 10.86 19.92 56.96 13.16 100.91
38 Raleigh, N.C. 12.13 19.91 53.31 12.80 98.15
39 Wilmington, Del. 12.28 20.42 52.47 12.78 97.95
40 Milwaukee 11.82 19.04 54.14 12.75 97.76

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