These policies apply to Student Catering events hosted in the University Unions including the Michigan Union, Michigan League and Pierpont Commons.


All catered events are subject to:

To ensure quality of food and service, food and beverage orders should be confirmed three weeks prior to the event date. While every effort is made to accommodate last-minute requests, a minimum of one week’s notice is generally required for all events.

Due to health department regulations, leftover perishable foods may not be removed from any event by anyone except Michigan Catering staff. This policy addresses public safety concerns and is non-negotiable. (Examples of acceptable items to remove: whole fruit, baked goods and canned sodas). Michigan Catering works closely with Food Gatherers to donate unused food items.

All menus are based upon a 90-minute service period. Food items will be removed at the end of the service period to maintain food quality.

Guest Guarantees

The final guaranteed count must be provided a minimum of five business days prior to the event. The final charge will be based on the guaranteed count or actual number served, whichever is greater.

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.


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

Student organizations must pay with a University of Michigan shortcode.

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 event.


To maintain affordable pricing, Student Catering buffet menu items are served with disposable plates, cups and utensils. China, stemware and flatware are available for an additional charge.

For plated and served menu items, china, stemware and flatware are provided.


Michigan League: Five foot diameter round tables are available to seat 6-8 guests. We have a limited number of six foot diameter round tables that accommodate 9-10 guests.

Michigan Union: Six foot diameter round tables are available to seat up to 10 guests.

Table Linens

There is no charge for standard white 90” square tablecloths.

Room Set-up

In general the room will be ready to receive decorations, musicians or disc jockeys approximately one hour prior to the start time of your event. Please let us know if this is not sufficient.

Menus and Nutrition

Alcohol Service

For events hosted by student organizations or with an expected attendance of two-thirds or more students, the following conditions must be met:

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

At all events where alcohol will be served, the hosting organization will be notified of any special requirements relating to the service of alcohol. All associated expenses will be the responsibility of the hosting organization.

At all events where alcohol will be served, the host must provide food of a substantial nature for the guests. 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.” In an effort to maintain the health and safety of guests, the following parameters apply to alcohol service:

All drinks must be served with the appropriate amounts of mixers and ice

No straight shots of any liquor or combination of three or more liquors will be served

All beer, wine and mixed drinks will be provided in individual servings

In regard to alcohol service, Michigan Catering reserves the following rights:

  • Offsite Policies
  • Onsite Policies
  • Student Policies