Whether you’re planning a seated corporate dinner, department meeting, full day conference, themed student dinner, or a fundraising gala, we offer professional services that match your taste and budget. USD Catering provides service at all indoor and outdoor locations throughout USD, including conference rooms, foyers, classrooms, offices, lawn areas and athletic fields. Contact us today to learn more about our menus, services, and more.
The University of San Diego was built on the core values of knowledge, community, ethical conduct, and compassionate service. All these values pervade throughout every aspect of the University including USD Catering. We have a deep understanding of skilled service and fine food. All our work revolves around fair and caring planning to ensure the best guest experience. Like our beautiful and green campus, we strive to make every USD Catering event stunning while still being environmentally friendly. Through the integration of the University’s values and our dedicated team of chefs, managers and staff, excellence is ingrained in our food, services and culture.
We proudly serve food that is both delicious and environmentally conscious. Along with the savory sensation of our food, freshness and sustainability are key ingredients to our dining experience. Locally grown, delivered, and prepared to our exact specifications, our food meets a high standard of excellence. Organic and natural food choices are always available. We begin with the best ingredients so that you can end with the ultimate catering experience.
Our culinary staff’s execution revolves around caring preparation, punctual presentation, and gracious service. The staff’s learning is ongoing, as they receive continuous training from the Culinary Institute of America which further enriches their passion for edible creations.
Our Green Philosophy
USD Catering exercises sustainable practices to the best of its ability in all facets of operations. Through supporting and seeking local farmers and artisans we provide the community with a green approach to catering. We take pride in the fact that we provide an eating experience that is delectable for the people and desirable for the earth.
More importantly, we are environmentally conscious in conjunction with your requests. We can develop a green menu meant to suit you and your event. Customizations such as free-range poultry, grass-fed beef or pork, wild-caught seafood, and organic produce are available. A menu exclusively built around San Diego locally grown produce can be created. There are also options for other products to be sourced locally, organic and/or sustainable.
USD Catering does not stop being green once the food has been served, our sustainability efforts continue through the cleanup of your event. Reusable china is available, as well as bulk serving of items such as milk and sugar for coffee or tea in order to avoid sending excess packaging to the waste stream.
Organic sources of food and beverages available
Vegetarian and vegan options
Ethically produced goods
Menus that capitalize on seasonal and locally grown ingredients
Pre-consumed and post-consumed food waste plan
Sustainable meat and fish when available
Reusable linen tablecloths
Bamboo plates upon request, additional charges apply
Eco-friendly plates, flatware, cups, and reusable décor, complimentary to you
Recycling containers at each event
Local vendors used for event equipment and rentals
Reusable china service, additional charges apply
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.
The first step in planning your event is to select and reserve a space. USD facilities can be scheduled through EMS (Event Scheduling) for on campus groups.
The following facilities can be reserved by calling their offices directly:
Degheri Alumni Center: (619) 260-4534
Hahn University Center: (619) 260-7574
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice: (619) 260-7808
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall: (619) 260-7915
External groups should first contact USD Catering: (619) 260-8811 or email@example.com
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.
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 7 business days prior to your event. For groups of more than 100 guests we request 10 business days notice.
Your menu selections may be made from our various meal options. If you prefer choices outside of this 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.
Our buffets and food stations are all priced as per the below meal durations:
Breakfast Buffet 2 hours
Lunch Buffet 2 hours
Coffee Break 2.5 hours
Reception Stations 1.5 hours
Dinner Buffet 2 hours
Should your event exceed the standard time please discuss with your catering consultant to secure additional services.
All campus event with alcoholic beverage must be processed through USD Catering. Bar service is a minimum of 90 minutes with one bartender per 100 guests and a bartender fee of $175 per bartender. For any time over 90 minutes, there will be an additional bartender charge of $50 per hour. If you would like to add additional bartender for your event we would be happy to accommodate your request. View complete alcohol procedures online.
Allergies / Special Meals / Dietary Restrictions
Gluten-free, lactose-free, Kosher, Halal, vegetarian, vegan, and any other special dietary meal can be provided upon request. Additional fees may apply.
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 percent 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. 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.
Furnishings and Rental Equipment
Please clarify table and chair requirements with the appropriate facility when reserving your space. USD Catering does not supply tables and chairs.
We can assist you with the rental of belly bars, canopies, umbrellas, tents, stages, lighting, cocktail tables, specialty linen floral arrangements etc. We will coordinate all rental needs for your convenience. Note: pop-up tents are not included and will be charged separately should your event be outdoors and coverage is needed. Equipment and décor may not be taken from the event. Missing equipment will be automatically billed to the client hosting the event.
Delivery and Pick Up
The appropriate attendants are scheduled to cleanup each event based on the time specified on the event sheet/ duration of meals. If a client asks USD Catering to come back later than the scheduled event end time, there will be an additional fee of $35 per hour for every hour that staff is required for late pick up. The event location must be unlocked and available at least 45 minutes prior to the event starting time as shown on your order. In order to continue to provide complimentary delivery on campus, we have a $50 minimum food order Monday through Friday and a $100 minimum food order Saturday and Sunday.
Due to regulations by the Health Department and catering industry standards, any food not consumed at the event may not be removed, except by the USD Catering staff.
USD Catering purchases many of our products from outside vendors. Should a vendor fail to deliver an order in a timely manner, we reserve the right to substitute a comparable menu item.
As a service to our customers, USD Catering handles all billing. When ordering, on-campus groups will need to provide all of the information necessary for the internal charge system. If we do not have the information ten business days prior, it may be necessary to cancel the food order for your event.
On-campus department/groups using a Workday code, that are being reimbursed by an outside group, are not entitled to the campus discount and are subject to service charge and state sales tax.
Off-campus groups will be billed (including CA state sales tax) to the billing address provided by the client. A 50% deposit is required (14 business days in advance) to consummate the contract and to confirm your event. The remaining balance is due by the day of the event, failure to pay in full on the date of the event subjects the event to cancellation. A taxable service charge of 20% will be added to all catering for non-USD groups.
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 24 hours prior to your event. Please check with our Sales office for details.
All campus events with alcoholic beverages must be processed through USD Catering.
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 proper 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
Find a vendor you would like to use from the approved
off-campus food vendor list
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
All events that will have food that exceed the above designated amounts must utilize USD Catering services. Requests over these amounts will be denied.
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
Any bottled/canned beverages, supplied or purchased, must be Coca-Cola products.
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.
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
Contact the Director of USD Dining with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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).
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).
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 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 February 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
To utilize a new vendor you need to complete the request to vend food on campus form.
You must seek approval for an outside vendor at least fourteen business days in advance of your event.
Applications will be reviewed by the Director of USD Dining.
You will receive notification as to whether or not the application has been approved within 72 business hours.
Approved vendor must follow the applicable food and permit requirements as listed above.
Contact the Director of USD Dining with questions: email@example.com
Procedures Governing the Service of Alcoholic Beverages at Events on the Campus of the University of San Diego
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.