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For a complete list of catering procedures - please review our catering menu.

Successful Catering Planning

It is important to allow yourself plenty of time to plan for and create your event. To arrange an appointment with catering, or for assistance in general, please contact us. We encourage you to come with ideas about your function and we will work with you to ease your planning any way possible.


Event Exclusions

  • USD does not currently provide catering support or services for private parties, wedding receptions or funerals.

  • We reserve the right to contract for events that are consistent with the university's mission and values. 

  • USD reserves the right to deny the use of its facilities for the support of any event regardless of its nature or intended purpose.

Catering Orders

Once you have reserved your event space, contact USD Catering as soon as possible. Internal groups may submit a request online. USD Catering will continue to accept new orders until we reach the limit of our service capabilities. Our coordinators monitor the number of events accepted for each day in order to ensure that we provide the quality food and level of service our clients require and deserve. Your menu should be confirmed a minimum of 14 business days prior to your event. 



Your menu selections may be made from our various meal options. If you prefer choices outside of the menu we will work with you to make your ideas a reality. Customization is always an option. However, some restrictions may apply because of the location and/or size of your group.


Order: Guest Count / Guarantee

We require a final count three business days before the event (not including the day of the event). An earlier guarantee of five business days is required for groups over 100 or with special menus. You will be financially responsible for 100% of your final guarantee, or the actual number of guests served, whichever is greater. If a guarantee is not provided, your last estimate becomes your guarantee.

Orders placed less than 3 business days prior to the event date are subject to a $75 late order fee. Menu items may be substituted to accommodate late orders.  


Last minute guest count changes may result in an additional charge. If your guest count increases less than three days before your event, we may not be able to increase the quantity of every menu item, but we will serve an appropriate substitution. We prepare food for 5% above the guarantee for buffets only. For groups over 100, and for orders occurring on weekends, holidays, or during finals, there may be additional charges for labor and services.


There is no charge for cancellations made at least five working days prior to your event, a 50% charge for cancellations made three working days prior to your event, and a 100% charge for cancellations made less than 72 hours prior to your event. Please check with our Sales office for details.

Outside Food Vendor Requests

USD Catering is the university's exclusive caterer. Revenue goes
back to the university annually to support students and campus
programs. You may not bring any unapproved (outside) catering
vendors or food to campus without advance approval.


If you are a student group, or a university department, and you
would like to request approval to use an outside vendor to bring
food onto campus, please review the options below. 

Option 1: Find an Approved Vendor
  1. Find a vendor you would like to use from the approved
    off-campus food vendor list

  2. ​Stay at, or below, the maximum amount: (total order amount including tip and tax)

    • University department event: $300 or less in total​

    • Student group event: $1,000 or less in total

  3. All events that will have food that exceed the above designated amounts must utilize USD Catering services. Requests over these amounts will be denied.

  4. If the vendor you wish to use is on the approved list, and your order is below the maximum order amount, please review and follow the requirements below.


Food and Beverage Requirements

  1. Any bottled/canned beverages, supplied or purchased, must be Coca-Cola products.

  2. If food is non-perishable/shelf stable then there is no dining oversight required and you may proceed with your order via the approved vendor.

  3. If food is raw, unprocessed, requires refrigeration or heating to maintain proper food safety requirements then the following oversight may be required:

    • Oversight by a USD Dining Health Compliance Officer

      • This will result in a labor charge cost for the oversight at a rate of $30 per hour

    • Submit the menu, and a safety health plan from the vendor, via the request to vend food form 

  4. ​Contact the Director of USD Dining with questions:


County of San Diego Permit Requirements

The following is provided as a courtesy to our guests. Please review the County of San Diego's website for current information and additional details.

  1. Specific health permits and other documentation are also required by the County of San Diego to be provided by the vendor (as listed below and in the request to vend food form).

  2. It is the vendor's responsibility to read through the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health and Quality and to obtain the proper permit(s). 

  3. General Permit Guidelines

    • Failure to provide applicable permits is not allowed by the County of San Diego. This will result in no food being allowed at the event.

    • Depending on the type of event - the Health Department requires 30 days advance notice.

      • If it is a temporary event where the public can attend, then the caterer needs an organizer temporary event permit and each individual food vendor needs a food vendor permit

      • If vendor has a mobile food facility (i.e.: food truck) with a valid San Diego mobile permit, then caterer may use their mobile food permit

    • County of San Diego Permit Costs (as of spring 2022)

      • Organizer temporary event permit: $337

      • If permit is requested less than 14 days prior to event date, or modified, there is an additional fee of $159


​​Option 2: Request Approval for a New Vendor

  1. To utilize a new vendor you need to complete the request to vend food on campus form.

  2. You must seek approval for an outside vendor at least fourteen business days in advance of your event.

  3. Applications will be reviewed by the Director of USD Dining.

  4. You will receive notification as to whether or not the application has been approved within 72 business hours.

  5. Approved vendor must follow the applicable food and permit requirements as listed above. 

  6. Contact the Director of USD Dining with questions:


Alcohol Procedures


These procedures govern the service of alcoholic beverages at all events on the University of San Diego’s campus, whether sponsored by the University or by a third party.

1. All events on campus at which alcoholic beverages may be served must be processed in advance. In order for alcohol to be served at the event, written approval must be obtained. All events must complete the USD Event Alcohol Request form. Any student event must also complete the student event alcohol request form.

2. The Office of USD Catering shall require a sponsor to engage an outside licensed vendor to serve alcohol at the event when doing so is required by law or otherwise prudent under the circumstances. For example, if alcohol will be sold at the event, or if the event will be open to the general public during the time alcoholic beverages are served, consumed, or otherwise disposed of, the alcohol service shall be catered by a licensed outside vendor. The outside vendor must be approved in advance by the Office of USD Catering. The sponsor of the event shall be responsible for all costs associated with the engagement of the outside vendor. A sponsor may not engage an outside vendor to serve alcohol at any event on campus without the advance written approval of the Office of USD Catering.


3. The Office of USD Catering typically will serve alcohol at events for which an outside vendor is not engaged. Depending on the size and nature of the event, limited exceptions may be approved by the Director of Hospitality Services and Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services, or their designees.

4. Any event serving alcohol on the University of San Diego campus, whether the alcohol is provided through USD Catering or an approved outside vendor, will be required to provide food for the attendees through USD Catering. Depending on the size and nature of the event, limited exceptions may be approved by the Director of Hospitality Services and Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services or their designees.

5. Depending on the nature of the event (including, for example, the expected number of attendees, the location, the date of the event, whether guests under age 21 will be present, and other relevant factors), the Office of USD Catering may require additional security to be present at the event. All costs associated with the security shall be the responsibility of the sponsor.

6. The following rules must be followed at any university-sponsored event or any event sponsored by a third party on university property:

• Alcohol may not be distributed or furnished to any person under the age of 21.

• Before alcohol will be served to anyone, clear evidence must exist that the individual to whom the alcohol is served and/or the consumer of the alcohol is at least age 21.

• Alcohol may not be served or otherwise provided to anyone who appears to be intoxicated.

• Alcohol may not be served unless non-alcoholic beverages and food also are served.

• Alcohol may not be removed by the attendees from the immediate event site.

• Attendees may not bring their own alcohol to the event.

• Alcohol may only be consumed at the designated site of the event.

• Open alcoholic beverage containers are permitted only at the designated site of the event.


For information regarding the use of university funds to purchase alcohol, please see the university’s Expense Reimbursement Procedures that are available through the Department of Procurement Services. The sponsor of a university event is responsible for ensuring compliance with these procedures. For the purpose of these procedures, the sponsor is the authorized individual or group at the university that hosts or organizes the event, or the outside entity that hosts or organizes the event on university property. Failure to follow these procedures may result in the denial of approval to serve alcohol at an event and/or disciplinary action as appropriate under the circumstances.


All members of the University of San Diego community are expected to be familiar with and to follow these procedures.

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