Catering FAQs & Policies

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How far in advance should I book my event?

We request at least two weeks’ notice for most events, to ensure our ability to meet your needs. However this advance notice may vary with the time of year; for example, Welcome Week, graduation and UW Homecoming. We would appreciate getting your reservation as soon as possible. We may be able to take your event on shorter notice depending on size and complexity. We are not able to take any events with less than 3 business days’ notice.

Do you have a delivery charge or minimum?

We do not charge for delivery, but we do require a $100 minimum per event delivered. We service all of campus, the Arboretum, and Research Park. If you are a UW department, we will cater to you. If you are not able to reach the minimum order, picking up of the service from the Gordon Dining & Event Center or combining deliveries may be an option for you.

Do you offer state rate menus?

Knowing that a majority of our customers are limited to a state rate for most meals, we have specifically planned our menus to meet your needs. See our breakfast, break service, lunch buffet, and dinner buffet menus for those rates.

How do I pay for my event?

UW-Madison departments must pay with an internal work order, or provide a funding number. Credit Cards are not accepted from campus departments. You will be sent an invoice for payment after the event has taken place.

Do you cater to Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)?

We will cater to RSOs. All rates in the menu apply the same to RSOs as they do other campus departments. University Housing Catering will not provide alcohol service to any RSO or non-registered student org. or fraternity/sorority.

What types of events do you cater?

We cater a wide variety of events, including breakfasts, breaks, casual lunches, plated meals, receptions, cookouts, and tailgates. If you have need for any type of service we do our best to meet any request. We do not provide concession catering.

Do you cater events on the weekend?

We are available to cater any day of the week, but availability may vary depending on previously scheduled events.

How far in advance do I need to give our guaranteed count?

With your event request we would like an estimated guest count. We ask for a four business day advance for your final guest count, and any menu/event changes. If there are increases in your count less than four days we cannot guarantee full service and we may need to modify service arrangements. If your event is cancelled with less than four days’ notice, there may be a charge up to the full cost of the event.

Can I get items not listed on your menu?

You sure can! We have over a thousand items in our recipe database, too many to list on our printed menus. If you have special interests—from ethnic recipes to dietary needs, please give us a call. Our executive chef and registered dietitians on staff are available to help with special requests. Contact us for a quote.

Can I take leftover food home?

Because of state health code regulations, we are not able to release leftover food to you or your guests. We cannot ensure food safety beyond the period during which it is served in our controlled environment.

Do you provide bar service?

We are able to provide alcohol service to any UW Campus Department event where the majority of the attendees are over the age of 21. We must provide all of the alcohol served at the event. We will not cater only bar service – there must be a minimum $5.00 per person food order for us to provide bar service. We will have licensed bartenders on staff at all bars. See our bar service menu for more details on service. University Housing Catering will not provide alcohol service to any student organization.

Do you provide china for your events?

Most events delivered on campus will include high quality disposable service ware. China can be added to any event for $1.00 per person. Any event held in a University Housing Dining facility will include china. China is included in the charge for any plated meal.

Do you provide staff at your events?

University Housing Catering staff will deliver and set up smaller events (breaks and lunches) and return later in the day to clean up the event. Some lunches will include hot food that will need to be set up out at the time of service. Please let us know if you would like a staff member present, and we will provide that for you. Larger events where food will need to be replenished, staff will be provided.

Do you provide table linens? Skirting?

Linens for any service tables (buffet lines, beverage tables, bars) are included with the food order. Additional linens for tables are $5.00 each. Skirting can be provided for any food and beverage table as well. Additional skirting is $10 per table.