On-Premise Catering Policies

For events hosted within University Unions facilities

Gratuities and Fees

All catered events are subject to:

Late Orders

While every effort will be made to accommodate last minute requests, in order to ensure quality of food and service, we prefer a minimum of one week notice for events. Ideally, food and beverage should be confirmed three weeks prior to the event date. Orders received within three (3) business days of an event will be assessed a rush fee of $50. For example, an order received on Tuesday for a Friday event or Thursday for a Monday event would be charged a rush fee.

Menu Pricing

All prices are subject to change. Food and beverage pricing can be confirmed a maximum of two months in advance with menu selection.

Leftover Food

Due to health department regulations, leftover perishable foods may not be removed from any event by anyone except food service staff. This policy addresses public safety concerns and is non-negotiable. However, non-perishable items such as whole fruit, baked goods, and canned sodas may be taken from events. Michigan Catering works closely with Food Gatherers, Food Recovery Network and Maize and Blue Pantry to donate unused food items.

Service Times

Buffet menu quantities and perishable items are limited to a two-hour service period unless noted otherwise. Food items will be removed at the end of the contracted service period to ensure food quality.

Water Service

Water service is available in the League, Union and Pierpont Commons. Additional costs may be associated depending on the type of food and beverage service your event entails. For services with no additional food or beverage, water services with glassware will be charged $1.00 per person (minimum $20, maximum $100.00). For services with no additional food or beverage, water services with compostables will be charged $.50 per person (minimum of $10, Maximum of $50.00)

Special Dietary Needs

We strongly encourage event planners to solicit special dietary needs from their attendees to ensure that all guests have a positive dining experience. Michigan Catering labels buffet items for the following allergens:

We use reasonable efforts in our food sourcing, preparation and handling procedures to avoid the introduction of allergens. However, we do not have separate allergy-friendly kitchens and are unable to guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens. Please let your Event Manager know if any of your attendees have allergies not included in the above list and/or life-threatening allergies.

Guest Guarantees

Accurate counts, special dietary information, and plated meal designations all help to optimize service. The final guaranteed count (and any applicable special dietary information and meal designations) must be provided a minimum of six business days prior to the event. This number is considered final and cannot be reduced. Increases in guest count will be honored whenever possible, but are not guaranteed and may be subject to a rush fee. The final food and beverage charge will be based on the guaranteed count or actual number served, whichever is greater


While reasonable effort will be made to minimize cancellation charges, groups will be held responsible for all charges incurred as a result of any commitments made to facilitate the event. Events canceled within three business days may be charged up to 100% of the total estimated food and beverage charges.

Payment Policies

University Departments and student organizations must pay with a University Short Code.

Student organizations must deposit adequate funds to cover all charges in their S.O.A.S. accounts no later than one week prior to the scheduled function.

Commercial events may require a minimum food and beverage expenditure (tax and gratuity not included) based on venue, day of week and time of day. Please see an Event Service Representative for specifics. Six months prior to the event, if a food and beverage minimum is applied, a payment of 50% of the food and beverage minimum is due. Six days prior to the event, funds to adequately cover the balance of all charges must be paid in the form of:

When possible, all refunds will be distributed in the same form as payment method after accounting is complete.

Alcohol Service

As a licensed facility, University Unions is subject to all rules and regulations of the State of Michigan's Liquor Control Commission. No alcohol other than that provided by University Unions may be served within our facilities. Additionally, no alcohol can be removed from the event room or University Unions facilities.

All events where students are invited will require the submission of an Alcohol Disclosure Form, provided by the Event Manager. Events with student attendees may require wrist banding, Department of Public Safety officers, and/or faculty/staff chaperones. In those cases, the group organizing the event may need to pay associated fees. Events organized by student organizations can only have cash bars.

At all events where alcohol is to be present, food of a substantial nature must be provided for the guests by the host. For receptions, food of a substantial nature is equivalent to a minimum of three hors d'oeuvre portions per person attending the event for each hour of bar service.

Bar service is limited to four hours. For events including a full meal service, one hour of wine service may be added during meal service. Bar service may begin no earlier than one hour prior to meal service and must end one hour prior to the end of the event.

Due to the scope of the liquor licenses; changes to alcohol service times may only be accommodated if

Under no circumstances can the overall alcohol service time exceed 5 hours of service or extend beyond the room reservation hours.

All bartenders are trained in and observe the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM). In an effort to maintain the health and safety of guests, the following parameters apply to alcohol service.

In regard to alcohol service, University Unions reserves the following rights: