Luxury Per Diem Living | The Buffet of Buffets

October 18, 2010 at 8:24 am 1 comment

by Mike

Shrewd and pioneering corporate travel managers aren’t hampered by industry norms.  Sure, just like their peers, they will adeptly spar with those hot travel topics – negotiate away an ancillary fee or boost a hotel attachment rate. In many cases these martyrs of corporate citizenry will sacrifice blood and tears to squeeze a few drops of savings out of a rock (or a supplier). However, there remains an area that remains untapped, even by the most astute and well-worn industry veterans.

According to the GSA, the 2010 per diem rate for meals in Las Vegas is $71, on par with other major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. However, in Vegas all you travel managers have a secret weapon – an unlimited cornucopia of calories – a diner’s delight – a trip around the world that only requires a few steps – a.k.a. the “Buffet of Buffets” (or the BoB plan).

If you didn’t catch this piece of astute journalism from Kitty Bean Yancey of USA Today, it makes the KFC’s Double Down sandwich look like a macrobiotic summer salad with oil and vinegar – on the side. This bad boy is a 24-hour food fest, a bacchanalian feast during which you can visit any buffet within a Harrah’s property, all for the low, low price of $39.99. Start at Caesars Palace for dinner, hit up Paris for a late-night snack – the permutations are endless. Sure, you can shave $15.00 of this rate by going with a single-property plan, but at Carrying On, we think that the traveler centric approach will boost the success of your new dining program. Your road warriors will enjoy the broader selection, and the geographic spread of the properties ensures they are never too far away from a delicious buffet, whether they are visiting a customer on the north end of The Strip or a partner on the south end.

With a 44% savings over the government per diem, the ROI on this investment is amazing. However, it wouldn’t be responsible for us to leave out some of the potential downfalls associated with BoB. First, if your insurance company catches wind of the program, you’re company’s health care premiums are likely to shoot up faster than your employees‘ cholesterol. Second, until Hometown Buffet or Sizzler develops a similar package, the whole program is really only feasible in Vegas at this time. Don’t let these minor obstacles get in your way. Good ideas start small and continuously get better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to dig into this platter of egg rolls, spaghetti and meatballs, prime rib, and jello!

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Entry filed under: Ancillary Fees, Business Travel, Dining, hotels, Mike's musings, Travel ROI. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Audra Pollack  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:18 am

    funny timing on reading this. In releasing our new expense tool (Rearden Expense/Expensewire), I have eliminated per diem payouts. I projected our saving to be between 100-120K for FY2011. Amazingly enough, I was able to put in thresholds on daily spend. I belive $60 to be enough for 1 day for 1 individual. Luckily I think my boss agrees, well, if not with me, than with the savings!


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