Policy: 202.C-Meeting/Conference: Refreshment Breaks

Statement of Policy:

Refreshment break expenses are allowable only in association with a business meeting when:

  1. facilities are not available within the building or immediate area of the meeting where attendees could obtain and consume normal break items within a typical break period (10 to 20 minutes), or
  2. having the attendees leave the meeting room would have an adverse effect on the continuity of the meeting, meaning it is expected that break items be consumed while the business meeting or program continues, or
  3. the majority of attendees are not UW/State employees. For purposes of applying this provision, board members are not considered employees.

Refreshment break expenses must be limited to one break each morning and afternoon. The break may consist of nonalcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea or soft drinks, and at the discretion of each institution, a small food item. The total cost must be reasonable and should not exceed $7.00 per person. Events that include breakfast must not include additional food items at the morning break.

The following documentation must accompany the request for payment:

  1. the name, purpose, number in attendance, date and time (beginning/ending) of the meeting. A meeting agenda that includes all the required information is preferred.
  2. a statement indicating which of the criteria (Sections a-c above) was/were met. If the refreshment break is allowed on the basis of Section c, the number of UW/State employees and non employees must be provided.
  3. Original invoices/receipts showing the amount to be paid or reimbursed.

NOTE: The restrictions outlined in this section do not apply to UW-sponsored events attended primarily by the general public if participants pay a fee to cover such costs.

Related Documents:

Events-Refreshment Payment Form
For use with events that require payment/reimbursement for refreshment/break expenses. Please use for all payment mechanisms (requisitions, expense reports, PIRs, purchasing cards).

Events-Participant List
Formatted participant list for use with event forms or payment/reimbursment mechanism for meals, refreshments, reception costs where a list of participants is required for payment.

UW Meeting/Conference Resources


Dean/Director’s Business Office may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.

Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Dean/Director’s Business Office for policy or procedural questions

Policy and Procedure Index