Corporate spending in restaurants shows signs of increasing as the U.S. economy continues to emerge from the recession, according to two recent reports.

In 2013, the average restaurant check under corporate spending increased 6.1 percent, to $53.88, from $50.78 the prior year, according to Johns Creek, Ga.-based Dinova LLC, a network of restaurants and corporations.

Those restaurant increases came against a backdrop of a 3.8-percent increase in annual U.S. business travel spending, according to the Global Business Travel Association, a trade group for business travel managers.

The GBTA predicted the momentum to continue into this year. The group expects U.S. business travel spending to jump 6.6 percent, to $289.8 billion, in 2014. The total number of trips should also increase, by 1.7 percent, to 461 million, the group said.

“Airports and hotels will be busy as American companies gain confidence and invest in travel to drive growth. And because business travel is a leading indicator of employment, this news is also another positive sign for the labor market,” Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The 3.8-percent increase in domestic business travel spending in 2013 brought spending to $272 billion, on a 0.3-percent decline in trip volume, to 453.3 million trips.

“Despite the Federal government shutdown in 2013, the private sector delivered a stronger third quarter than expected, which boosted business travel spending,” the GBTA said.

Dinova, which has a network of 500 independent restaurants and 36 multiunit brands, said last week that in its network of corporate clients, mid-sized companies outpaced large firms in the rate of restaurant spending increase. The company said its midsize clients cumulatively increased their dining spending by 13 percent year over year, with transaction volume rising 9 percent.

Large companies spent 4.4 percent more than in the prior year, driven by a 2.7-percent increase in transaction volume.

“The numbers show corporations took their clients and staff out to eat more often and spent more when they did,” Vic Macchio, Dinova’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

This story has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 18, 2014
  This story has been update to reflect the most recent numbers in Dinova LLC’s restaurant network.

Contact Ron Ruggless at
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless