Approved Caterers List : Catering Information
This document has been developed to assist UCI Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community members who are planning events which require the services of a caterer. The following information can be found in this Guide:
This document is designed as a brief guide and does not include all of the UCI Policies and Procedures. It is the responsibility of the person planning the event to consult with the UCI Policies and Procedures.
Choosing a Caterer
Whether a small meeting, afternoon break, or large banquet, choosing the best caterer is what will make your event memorable and special. Most caterers have pre-set menus for you to look through and this will give you the idea of the capabilities of the catering staff. In most cases the menu is a guide and special menu requests, theme meals, or ideas can easily be designed.
When choosing a caterer from the Approved UCI Caterers List always feel free to:
- Ask for sample menus
- Ask for references
- Ask for a written itemized quotation or estimate
- Ask for the Caterers Procedures and Guidelines
- Ask to see pictures of previous events
- Make sure the caterer is familiar with the event location
- Ask for samples of the food you will be served
UCI Policies and Procedures
UCI Policy and Procedures requires:
- Only Approved Caterers may be used for events held on the UCI Campus
- The University reserves the right to approve Caterers in good business and financial standing with the University. Caterers not in good standing with the University shall be removed from the Approved Off-Campus Caterers List.
- Off-Campus Approved Caterers may provide special pre-ordered catering services on campus. They may not sell or offer food for sale on campus. More information can be found in UCI Policies and Procedures Section 900-16.
UCI Accounting will not process payments to caterers who are not on the monthly Approved UCI Caterers List when the event occurs.
Further information can be found in UCI Policy and Procedures Section B - Catering Parts 1 and 2.
Preferred UCI Caterers
UCI has contracted with UCI Catering/Aramark and the University Club to provide services on the UCI Campus. These Preferred UCI Caterers all have culinary staff members whose creativity will exceed your expectations and compliment your events. Preferred UCI Caterers each have kitchens and production facilities on the UCI campus that ensures they'll be just around the corner when you need them and they are familiar with the intricacies of the UCI Campus.
Use of Approved Off-Campus Caterers
If you find that the Preferred UCI Caterers cannot meet your needs you may choose to use an Approved Off-Campus Caterer. Caterers who are on the Approved UCI Off-Campus Caterer List have met specific insurance requirements set forth by the University, prepare foods in a licensed food service facility in an approved manner, and have received the University's approval on their most recent county health department inspection report. All caterers are approved on an on-going basis and will remain on the list as long as insurance certificates, food permits, and inspection reports are up to date. It is the caterers and departments utilizing the catering services who are responsible in submitting the replacement documents to UCI Hospitality and Dining Services prior to expiration of the documents currently on file.
The Approved UCI Off-Campus Caterers List is reviewed monthly on the 15th of the month and updated at that time. During this review, caterers with expired documentation will be removed from the list and additional approved caterers will be added.
If you wish to use a caterer who is not on the Approved Off-campus Caterers List, please contact UCI Hospitality and Dining Services at 824-2759 to obtain an information packet. It is the responsibility of the department or group to coordinate the collection of the required paperwork from the off-campus caterer and to submit it for approval. The document collection, submittal, and approval process may take up to 30 days. The UCI Accounting Office will not honor or pay any caterer who is not on the list. The deadline for submitting the completed Off-campus Caterer Approval packet is the 14th day of the month prior to your event. The Approved UCI Off-campus Caterer List is published on the 15th day of each month.
Questions and requests for information regarding the Approved UCI Off-campus Caterers List or feedback caterers on this list on caterers on this list should be directed to UCI Hospitality and Dining Services at 824-2759.
Expectations of all Approved UCI Caterers
All Approved UCI Caterers are expected to provide the highest quality professional services at all times. Off-Campus Approved Caterers may provide special pre-ordered catering services on campus. They may not sell or offer food for sale on campus. The right to provide catering services at UCI is considered a privilege and may be revoked at any time. All Approved On-Campus and Off-campus Caterers must follow the these guidelines:
- All hot food must be delivered, held and served in appropriate NSF approved heating equipment that maintains the food at above 140 degrees until the end of the event.
- All cold food must be delivered, held and served in appropriate NSF approved cooling equipment that maintains the food at or below 41 degrees until the end of the event. Ice beds and baths are acceptable if they can maintain the temperature of the food at or below 41 degrees.
- Caterers are not allowed to drop off hot or cold food at events without the proper equipment to maintain the temperature.
- All catering personnel must follow all CURFFL, NRA, and Federal guidelines regarding food safety and sanitation.
- UCI Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for all Health Inspections for events at UCI. UCI EH&S reserves the right to contact the County Health Department for the Caterer's Commissary at any time regarding the caterers performance or past inspections.
- Caterers are expected to arrive and set up on time. It is the responsibility of the caterer to confer with the client to determine when the room will be available for set up, the actual event start time, the event end time, and when the room must be vacated.
- Caterers are expected to remove all left over food, trash, and equipment from the campus. No food is to be left in the rooms after the event.
- No food, trash, and equipment may be left over night in any UCI facility.
- All catering staff is expected to be dressed in a neat and professional manner.
- Caterers must follow all UCI guidelines regarding parking including, loading zones, time limits, and for purchasing the appropriate parking permits for delivery vehicles and staff vehicles.
- No smoking is allowed in or with 50 feet of any UCI Facility.
- All caterers must report any claims of food borne illness immediately to UCI Environmental Health and Safety at (949) 824 - 6200. Failure to report claims to UI will result in the permanent removal of the caterer from the Approved Caterers List.
Alcohol at Catered Events
Alcohol may only be served at catered events in accordance with UCI Policies and Procedures, Sec. 900-13: Policy on Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages. This policy may be found at: http://www.policies.uci.edu/adm/pols/900-13.html. It is the responsibility of the department or organization coordinating or organizing the catered event to review these Policies and Procedures with their caterer of choice.
California State Law and the California Alcohol Beverage Commission restrict caterers who do not possess an alcohol license from selling or providing alcohol to a client. In most cases, the Approved Caterers at UCI do not possess this type of license.
For more information and procedures on how to properly serve alcoholic beverages at an event, please visit our Alcohol Page.
Please note - Approved Off Campus Caterers are only approved to provide and serve food, not alcohol. If your event will include alcohol service, please contact Hospitality & Dining Services to discuss the process for approval.
How do I find a facility for my event?
UCI has many facilities and venues suitable for all types of catered events. The best place to start when looking for a site for your event is UCI Student Center & Conference Services located in the UCI Student Center, phone number (949) 824 - 5252. UCI Student Center & Conference Services has a knowledgeable staff of event coordinators to assist you in reserving the venue you would like to use, coordinating equipment rentals, and arranging University services.
All UCI facilities must be scheduled in accordance with Sec. 900-10: Policy on Use and Scheduling of UCI Properties. Information my be found at: http://www.policies.uci.edu/adm/pols/900-10.html.
Use of facilities for events comes under the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The Campus Fire Marshal is a Designated Deputy State Fire Marshal and a registered Architect. All special events require the final approval by the Campus Fire Marshal including layout, maximum attendance, equipment, and access. Please visit the Special Events Program on the EH&S website for special event requirements and information on how to obtain approval for a special event.
If you're planning on using a tent or canopy it is important to always remember:
- Tents with a cumulative area over 200 sq. ft. or canopies greater than 400 sq. ft. require approval by the Campus Fire Marshal before use.
- All tents and canopies must be constructed of fire retardant materials with the State Fire Marshal seal.
- The fire retardancy rating must be listed by the Manufacture tag outlining the materials used in construction.
- Two separate forms of unobstructed egress must be included in the design of the tent/canopy and must be marked with exit signs.
- Only lights that do not produce heat may be used.
- Table coverings must be made out of non-flammable materials (provide copy of certificate).
- Smoking is prohibited. "No Smoking" Signs must be conspicuously posted throughout tents or canopies.
- Open flames are not allowed under tent unless written permission is granted by the Campus Fire Marshal.
- A fire extinguisher must be made available within 50 feet of any point inside of the tent or canopy.
Additional information regarding Catering
The Application and Information Packet can be downloaded below. Please contact UCI Hospitality & Dining Services at (949) 824-2759 for assistance or additional information regarding catering and the coordination of caterers.
Off-campus Caterer Application and Information Packet (11.8 MB, requires Adobe Reader)
The list includes all caterers who have met UCI requirements and may be used for events occurring prior to the UCI Approval Expiration Date.