On-campus departments should contact the Catering Manager at (269) 471-3563 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make room and dining reservations for a catered event. Information you will need to provide includes: date and time of event, description of event, number of guests expected, any special equipment (audio/visuals) needs, your department's IDC number or other form of payment, food and beverage menu budget and estimate of types of foods needed. If you plan to do your own decorating, you must explain details at time of reservation. Please see “Tape” policy below.
All contracts must be signed two weeks prior to the event and confirmed within the guarantee period 72 hours prior to the event. You final bill will reflect the final guarantee or the number of guests served (whichever is greater). Please keep in mind that the billed amount will be based on the attendance or added charges the day of event. During certain busier event times (including commencement, homecoming and other VIP events) we will require a preliminary guarantee a minimum of 10 business days prior to your event. For those guests who need service within the two week period, contact the catering manager with your request. An additional 15% fee may be charged for orders placed inside the two week minimum.
Some menus are based on a minimum of 10-20 guests. We are happy to accommodate smaller groups. However, final billing may be based on the minimum required versus the actual guest count. Per person prices listed here may not cover actual costs for smaller events.
Our current published menu prices are meant to be the prices for the entire year and all events. However, because of the nature of increased food costs depending on time of year, Dining Services reserves the right to adjust the price of items that have experienced significant escalation of cost or to recommend a replacement menu item. Such adjustments or replacements will be stated in writing before issuance of a revised contract and with full disclosure to all parties.
Cancellations must be made at least 3 business days prior to the scheduled event. The Catering Manager of Dining Services must be notified. Dining Services may apply a 50% cancellation fee or direct costs incurred up to 50% to functions without the minimum 72-hour notification. The only exception to this would be a University wide closing such as a snow day or other emergency that affects the entire campus. If the University is closed for weather, the catering program will be as well, as only essential staff are allowed on campus. Any exceptions to this would be made by the Dining Services General Manager and Executive Chef.
As much as possible, Dining Services tries to serve and suggest seasonal items for your event during their specific times of year to increase sustainability. However, all menu items are available all year round for the convenience of our guests. If an item that you have ordered becomes unavailable, we will alert you of this change and suggest a similar product as a substitute.
Guests are welcome to bring their own take-away containers for left-over food. Dining Services does NOT supply to-go containers for special events. Under certain circumstances, a guest may request a to-go container and receive it, but this does not include mass left-overs.
Catering events are sometimes planned in conjunction with meetings or seminars that vary in length of time. Please discuss all event details with sales staff so we can recommend the best service options to accommodate your needs and the needs of other groups that may be booked close to the time of your event. Please be aware that the time listed for service on your contract is when the food will be ready to serve from the buffet line(s) or the plating will start. If the beginning of an event is delayed, the food quality will suffer, as the kitchen works to the specifications given on the contract. If sufficient time is given, final preparation may be delayed to accommodate the change in times, but this is not always possible.
Catering provides tables and chairs for events that are booked in the Campus Center rooms. Most other rooms on campus provide tables and chairs as well, but it is the clients responsibility to make us aware if they need additional tables and/or chairs for the specific room they have reserved. Table, chair and tent rentals for other areas of the campus are available through Custodial Services. We can easily make arrangements with Custodial Services for the coordination of table, chair, or tent rentals for your event. For seated buffet or plated-type events all setup times will be coordinated with the Catering Manager and outlined in your contract. If you will be needing extra time to set up items of your own, please make this known to the Catering Manager as well.
Dining Services is committed to meeting the needs of guests who have special dietary needs such as vegan, made-without-gluten, food allergies or intolerances. At each Catered event our catering team labels each menu item and also labels the specific type of allergens that were included in the ingredients.
With advance notice, our Catering team can provide almost any type of special food accommodations needed for guests. Please be aware however that our facility is only set up to make made-without-gluten items - not gluten-free items. With this in mind, we encourage our guests with Celiac disease to talk to our Chef or General Manager before eating at our cafes or events to determine if our facilities can in fact serve you safe food.
Dining Services makes every effort to mark specific food allergens and train staff appropriately; however, ingredients and nutritional content may vary. Manufacturers may change their product formulation or consistency of ingredients without our knowledge, and product availability may fluctuate.
If you have any questions regarding ingredients, please consult with the chef that made that particular dish. Though we strive to keep allergen-free food separate, all foods are prepared in an institutional cooking environment that could involve accidental cross-contamination with the foods to which you may be allergic or intolerant.