Off-Premise Catering Policies

These policies apply to events hosted at venues other than University Unions facilities.

General Policies

All catered events are subject to:

  • $100.00 minimum food and beverage sales

  • State of Michigan sales tax

  • Gratuity

  • $35.00 minimum gratuity (for commercial and U-M department events)

  • Delivery fee

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.

All prices are subject to change. Food and beverage pricing may be confirmed a maximum of two months in advance based on the selected menu.

To comply with local health department regulations, all perishable food must be discarded by Michigan Catering. 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.

Every building on campus has different hours of operation. These details should be discussed with your Account Executive at time of booking.

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.


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.

Service Styles

In addition to full service, Michigan Catering offers the following types of limited service. Please discuss your event needs with your Event Coordinator to determine the most appropriate service style for your needs.

  • Drop-Off Service
    The trays and utensils provided with your food-only deliveries are yours to keep or dispose of at your leisure. For hot beverage orders, Michigan Catering will provide thermal dispensers which must be returned. The short code provided for the event will be charged for missing equipment.
  • Pick-Up Orders
    All pick-up orders will be presented on disposable products. Pick-ups can occur Monday – Friday, 8am-4pm at the Michigan Catering Sales Office in Pierpont Commons. Pick-ups outside of these times will incur a 5% fee for handling costs.

Multiple Entrées

For served meals, an additional $1.00 per person will be charged when multiple entrées are offered.

Payment Policies

For commercial events, advanced payment of all estimated charges is required two weeks in advance of the event in the form of:

  • a check or money order payable to “University of Michigan” or
  • a Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover credit card payment

Refunds will be distributed in the same form as the original payment method after accounting is complete.

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 event.

Alcohol Service

Michigan Catering does not hold an off-site liquor license. We are happy to provide a bartender and arrange orders and deliveries, but all alcohol must be paid for separately from Michigan Catering.

By law our staff is not permitted to receive, purchase or transport alcohol; this is the responsibility of the host.

We have two tiers of Alcohol Service:

1. Client provides the Alcohol- we provide the bar service AND the food
Client is charged $100 per hour per bartender. This fee covers all disposable glasses, ice, and garnishes. Glassware is available for rental with an added 20% service fee.

2. Client provides the Alcohol-we provide only the bar service- Catering is provided by another provider
Client is charged a $250 set up fee plus $100 per hour per bartender. This fee covers all bartenders, disposable glasses, ice, and garnishes. Glassware is available for rental with an added 20% service fee.

All Michigan Catering bartenders are trained in and observe the “Techniques of Alcohol Management”.

An off–site bar service agreement must be signed.

Events with 50 or more guests that will have students in attendance must apply for and secure pre-approval to serve alcohol. Contact Conference and Event Services at 734-764-2000 or to initiate the review process. Allow at least two weeks for application processing.