Allowable Entertainment Expenses

Entertainment expenditures are defined as costs for meals or light refreshments and related services incurred in connection with events that are primarily business activities in support of the university’s mission. 

Related entertainment expenses include room/equipment rental, decorations/flowers, and associated expenses.

Entertainment Activities Must:

  • Support an underlying university business purpose (teaching, research, public service, patient care),
  • Be supported with documentation, and
  • Be hosted by a UC Davis affiliate.

When are Entertainment Expenses Allowable?

  • Business meetings
  • Programmatic activities
  • Donor relations
  • Recruitment
  • On-the-job meals
  • Morale building expenses, including employee retirement from the University of California, with at least 5 years of UC service

See UCOP BUS-79 for complete details

Meal Allowances

The following rates pertain to people being entertained and the university employee who is the official host. If expenditures will exceed these limits, additional approvals and documentation will need to be completed and the excess may not be approved. Please note: Entertainment expenses from Olive & Vine Catering (UC Davis Dining Services) receive automatic exception approval, up to 200% of the policy limits.

Maximum per person, by meal:

  • Breakfast: $31
  • Lunch: $54
  • Dinner: $94
  • Light refreshments: $22

These amounts include food, beverage, tax, service, tips, and delivery charges.

Exception Approvals

UCOP Bus-79 allows for the approval of certain entertainment events on an exception basis only. See Exception Approvals for more information. 

Host Certification

Entertainment Host Certification is required when entering an Entertainment report that includes any of the following:

  • Recruitment of prospective employees
  • Recruitment of student athletes or scholars
  • Morale events
  • Meals to prospective donors
  • Meals to visitors from other educations institutions, the community, or another work location for social or recreational purposes
  • Show tickets for entertainment purposes
  • Meals to spouses or domestic partners
  • Cash contributions during an entertainment event

If the host is someone other than the report submitter in AggieExpense, the submitter can simply route the report to the host for electronic approval.

If the host is not an active employee with access to AggieExpense, the Entertainment Host Certification form (available in the AggieExpense report) should be printed, with the the host signature, and the signed form should be electronically attached to the AggieExpense report.

Unallowable Expenses

Under no circumstances may university funds be used for occasions such as:

  • Employee birthdays
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Occasions of a personal nature