University Catering Policies
University Catering is proud to be your exclusive caterer here at Western Washington University. We strive to create a memorable experience for our clients and guests for all types of events, from coffee breaks at your department meetings to our full service buffets and served meals. We combine imaginative menus, a commitment to sustainability, fine service and flawless execution to deliver our best for each and every event. To assist in making your event successful, please view and read over our policies.
Full Service Catering
Full Service Catering includes linens and a customizable menu featuring both contemporary and classic items, all specially created with the freshest ingredients.
How to Order
Whether you are a seasoned client of University Catering, or this is your first time, please take a moment to read through proper ordering procedures. These might be something that you did not realize could make your next event much easier to plan.
From start to finish, here is how to properly plan your event:
1. Securing your location
Whether you're having an event on campus or off, you must work with the appropriate buildings and departments to reserve space. University Catering does not have the ability to reserve rooms and meeting locations for your events. If you need assistance regarding possible venues, please contact us for ideas.
2. Setting up
It is your responsibility:
- To ensure proper tables and chairs are available and set-up properly. You may order tables from Transport Services if you are on campus. Please give them plenty of notice. It is a very good idea to request the delivery of tables the morning of or the night before your event, to ensure they are there.
- To confirm that your venue is unlocked at a minimum of 1 hour prior to your event start time. University Catering's policy is to have every event set up a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your event start time in order to guarantee a successful event. We appreciate your assistance in being able to deliver this service.
We ask that you work with our sales coordinators on the time to have the venue open and equipment preset so that our team can be set up and ready with your event in a timely manor prior to guests arriving.
3. Secure your spot on University Catering's Schedule
To secure your place in University Catering's Schedule, you must give as much preparation time as possible. All you need to know is the following:
- Contact name
- Phone Number
- Fax Number
- Event Date
- Location of Event
- Event Type
- Event Timeline
- Bar/Beverage Needs
- Approximate Guest Count
- Color Scheme
- Additional Booking Needs
- Preliminary Menu (actual menu is not required to get on the schedule)
Be proactive! As soon as you know you will need to order from University Catering, let us know. Catering orders that are placed late will be subject to product and scheduling availability.
Play it safe! Initial contact with the University Catering Department should be no less than 2 weeks before your event with the menu decided 1 week in advance and final count given to University Catering 3 days prior.
Add one additional week of lead time per 75 attendees you will be expecting at your event. It is never too early to contact University Catering to discuss your upcoming event(s).
4. Please double and triple-check your event timeline
We work extremely hard to ensure that the food service at your event fits your timing. When scheduling an event with catering, it is imperative that you do not deviate from the start and end time you have provided.
The majority of our staff members are student employees, who are scheduled according to class and varying availabilities. University Catering is forced to cover the cost of last minute changes in staffing and will charge an additional $10.00 for every half hour an event cleanup is postponed.
Please plan accordingly and if you have any questions, or would like suggestions about how to avoid additional charges, please contact the University Catering department or the Director of Catering.
Casual On the Go Catering
- Casual Catering is for customers looking to save time and money, who are willing to pick up their order from a convenient location on campus. This menu is informal and served on disposable ware.
- Please place your Casual Catering order a minimum of 3 business days in advance.
- Orders for more than 25 people will be required to order from the Everyday Campus Menu or pickup for the Viking Union.
Student Catering Menu
- University Catering is proud to offer custom menus with special pricing designed just for Western students, student organizations and student groups. (A valid Western Card is required)
- With a menu featuring snack trays, full meals, fresh made pizza and desserts our Student Catering Menu is perfect for those on a limited budget. This menu is designed for pick – up orders, it’s quick, easy and a great value.
- Please place your Student Catering order a minimum of 3 business days in advance.
University Catering Menus
Preview our Menus
Late orders placed less than 3 business days in advance will be subject to a $25.00 service charge, and the menu may be adjusted according to product availability.
A confirmation will be emailed or faxed for approval within 3 working days of receiving your order. We ask that you look over your BEO confirmation for accuracy on time, location, menu, etc… once you have approved please sign the contract and fax back to (360) 650-3078 or emailed back with APPROVED in subject line.
Timelines are very important in planning details for all involved; it is your responsibility to make sure we have received an accurate event timeline to keep your event running smooth.
Final counts and changes will need to be confirmed no later than 3 full business days prior to your event either by phone or email.
Menu, style of service and event times may not change less than 5 full business days prior to event. Any changes in service made after the contract is confirmed will be subject to a processing fee of $25.00.
As exclusive caterer to the Western Washington University Campus, we take pride in presenting a variety of different menus to accommodate all catering needs. Outside food and beverage is not permitted on the WWU campus without explicit permission from the Resident District Manager and/or University Dining Services. An approved food waiver is required. See bottom of Policies page for more information.
Special Menu Needs:
When placing your order notify our sales coordinator of any special dietary needs or menu requests for your event. Our culinary team would be more than happy to accommodate special menus for our guests with food allergies, gluten allergies, vegetarian/ vegan requests and even a children’s menu.
We do request you notify our catering department at least 3 full business days in advance to allow the time for us to properly create and order for the special menu request. If you have any questions on any menu ingredients contact our Catering Director.
The University Catering menu guides will include a quoted minimum, which does not necessarily mean it is the smallest group size we can prepare for, however it does refer to the minimum size we can prepare for the price quoted. If you guest count is less than the minimum require contact the catering office for a price relevant to the guest count.
A final guest count is required to University Catering no less than 3 full business days prior to your scheduled event in writing. This count will be your guarantee and cannot be reduced further. Your final bill will reflect the final guarantee or actual guest count, whichever is greater.
Set Up and Service Times:
In our continuing desire to be prompt on our set ups and the deliver the highest quality of food and service we would appreciate your cooperation to have the venue open, set and available to our staff at a minimum of one hour prior to the event start time. Larger events and special circumstances many require additional set up and strike time, please discuss this with your catering representative.
There will be no charge for cancellations made 5 business days prior to an event. Cancellations made less than 5 business days are subject to a fee of 25% of the total event cost. Cancellations made less than 3 business days are subject to a fee of 50% of the total event cost. Cancellations made within a 24 hour period will be billed for the event cost in full.
Should a cancellation be based on an extenuating circumstance please call the Catering Director to discuss as soon as possible.
All events booked with University Catering will be billed a 20% Service Charge.
For events booked inside the Viking Union the service charge provides:
- Event set up and service labor
- Event service staff
- China service on all meals
For events booked outside the Viking Union the service charge provides:
- Event set up and service labor
- Event service staff
- On-Campus delivery charges
- Disposables (China is available at an additional fee of $2.50 per person)
For events that require a TIPS certified bartender, wine attendant, chef carver or extra service staff additional charges will be billed accordingly.
Leftover Food Policy:
According to the Washington State Health Code, leftover food may not be taken away from any event by the hosts or their guests without prior approval from the Catering Director.
Security and Liability:
University Catering will not assume any responsibility for the loss or damage to any articles left at an event, prior to, during, or following an event. If valuable items are to be left in the event area we strongly suggest that security be retained
As the contact of a catered event you are responsible for the service equipment provided by University Catering. Any missing or damaged catering equipment or supplies will be charged to the final event bill at current replacement cost.
Bar Service and Alcohol Policy:
Be sure and review WWU's "Regulations & Procedures for serving Alcoholic Beverages on Western's Campus and at University Sponsored Events Held Off-Campus" BanquetPermitRegulationsProcedures912RV2.doc
Step 1: Apply for WWU approval. BanquetPermitform.doc
Step 2: AFTER WWU approval, please click here.
University Catering is not licensed by the State of Washington to sell alcohol. It is the responsibility of the event sponsor or host organization to obtain a Banquet/Event Permit in advance, whenever alcohol will be present. The form for the permit may be obtained at the Office of the Assistant VP of Enrollment and Student Services in Old Main 563 or by calling 360.650.7729. A signed copy of this permit must be provided to University Catering 3 business days prior to the event.
Any leftover alcohol must be picked up from the University Catering office within 24 hours after the event. If you need to drop off or pick up alcohol at any other time (including immediately before or after the event) it must be pre-approved by the Catering Director.
Under Washington State Law, only those 21 years of age and over may legally consume alcoholic beverages. The host or sponsoring group will be responsible for enforcing state laws and campus policies. University Catering reserved the right to refuse service to anyone.
Should you have any questions regarding Washington State Alcohol Laws & policies relative to our catered event please contact the Catering Director to discuss.
Bar Set Up $ 50.00 per bar (includes linens, ice, storage, corckscrews, openers and containers)
Stemware/Glassware $ 00.50 per piece
Compostableware $ 00.25 per person
Bartender $ 25.00 per hour (3 hour minimum, 1 for every 50 guests)
Wine Attendant $ 20.00 per hour (3 hour minimum, 1 for every 50 – 75 guests)
Billing and Payments
All WWU catering orders require a Purchase Order (PO) number no less than 3 business days prior to your event. Please send the yellow copy of the signed PO to Catering at WWU Mail Stop 9196. Any event using state funds must also fill out a Coffee & Light Refreshments/Meals with Meetings Authorization Request and forward it to the WWU Accounting Office at MS 1420, along with the signed Purchase Order.
Any events not being charged to a WWU Purchase Order will be subject to Washington State sales tax for all services and a 50% deposit is required at the signing of the contract along with a credit card to be held on file to pay for the final bill payment the day of the event. All non-university events must be paid in full by the day of the event.
University Catering accepts payment by credit card or check made out to ARAMARK.
Catering Guidelines for Western Washington University
These guidelines support the policy implicit in the contract as it applies to all University sponsored events held in University owned facilities in Bellingham, WA.
Please fill out a Coffee & Light Refreshments/Meals with Meetings Authorization Request whenever using Western Washington University and/or Washington State Funds.
If you have the need or desire to request a Catering Exemption Waiver please follow these steps and guidelines. Please request an exemption waiver form from University Catering Services.
Exemption Requests are to:
- Serve department needs and expectations by a flexible approach.
- Routine exceptions that require no additional approval:
- Potluck meals: food provided by and consumed by group members as part of an informal program and consistent with safe food handling guidelines (see below)
- Fundraisers: where the preparation and sale of the food is the main component of the program, i.e. a bake sale.
- When University Dining Services is unable to supply a product or service which is to be confirmed in advance.
- Provide a simple process to review requests for additional exceptions on a case by case basis:
- Review events involving third party catering prior to the event.
- University Dining Service’s Resident District Manager will review all exemption requests to insure that University catering has first right of refusal to serve food on campus.
- When appropriate, additional documentation may be requested, such as Washington State Food Handlers Permit, Washington State of Whatcom County Health Department license for off-premise food service, and or evidence of appropriate liability insurance.
- Department heads may request an additional review by an appeals panel.
- When the exemption review does not meet department needs, the department head may request an additional review by an appeals panel.
- Resident District Manager will convene an appeals panel drawn from the Campus Dining Committee.
- Appeals are generally process in 2 working days.
Contacting University Dining Catering
You can place your order by phone at 650-3933 or through our CaterTrax website and a sales representative will contact you to confirm your event, and go through the planning details with you. It will expedite your planning by having all pertinent information available at the time of booking.
Safe Food Handling Guidelines
Safe and careful handling of raw meat and poultry is critical to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and contaminating other foods. It is extremely important that proper temperatures are reached during cooking to destroy harmful bacteria.
- Don't set up food until needed
- Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Keep chilled food in chilled containers 40ºF/4ºC or below
- All products securely wrapped or placed in sealed containers
- Ice packed around containers so that melting ice does not get into food
- Serve food within two hours or less from time of set-up
- Discard all food left over after service.
Prevent cross contamination using only clean, sanitized food containers, cutting boards and utensils. Don’t use the same utensils or food containers for handling raw meat and poultry and also for handling ready-to-eat foods, (i.e., hamburger buns, cooked foods. Use separate cutting boards for raw foods and ready-to-eat foods.
Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry.
Cook foods thoroughly: Keep burgers and chicken (and all other perishable foods) on ice until ready to cook. Cook burgers to 155ºF/68ºC. To check the temperature, insert a thermometer probe for 15 seconds in center of the burger, at a 45º angle. Cook poultry to 165ºF/74ºC. Place thermometer in thickest part of meat (for 15 seconds).
Keep cooked burgers and chicken at minimum temperature of 140ºF/60ºC or above.