University of Wisconsin-Madison (opens in new window)

Catering FAQs

We share some of our frequently asked questions in the hope they may shed light on your planning process.  Every question is important. 

Our friendly team of event managers is available to answer any additional questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!   

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Please submit menu selections a minimum of three weeks in advance, and an estimate of your guest count a minimum of two weeks in advance. During busy times of the year (ie. graduation, homecoming) and/or for special menu requests, we ask that you provide more advance notice so that we can do the best to accommodate your event needs. 

  • Menu selections are due a minimum of three weeks in advance. Fourteen business days in advance, we will need your final counts. At this time, the food service times should be confirmed as well. Changes to the counts and event timing after that will be handled on an 'approval-only basis' and service arrangements may be modified.

  • All deliveries to your on-campus location incur a $50 delivery fee. All deliveries to your off-campus location incur a $200 delivery fee. The Arboretum is considered to be an off-campus location. To save on the delivery fee, we would encourage you to host your event in Memorial Union or Union South. Items may be picked up from either Wisconsin Union building as well. Orders for pick-up do not incur a delivery fee.

  • State of Wisconsin regulations do not allow us to release leftover food to you or your guests. We cannot ensure that proper safety measures are followed after the food leaves the monitored and controlled environment of the event thus creating a health concern.

  • If you are hosting an event in Memorial Union or Union South, there is a $150 minimum for full service catering. If your event is located outside of the Wisconsin Union buildings, there is a $100 minimum for full service catering. Pick-up orders are exempt from these minimums. If you are a Union member hosting an event in one of the Wisconsin Union's large event spaces (Great Hall, Tripp Commons, Varsity Hall and Main Lounge), there is a pre-tax catering minimum for Friday, Saturday and holiday weekends. Please see our Wedding and Special Events Rates and Policies page for further information.

  • Our menu prices are the same for every day of the week.

  • Not for full service catering. In most cases, the prices on our full service catering menu include the cost of service ware for your event. If your event is taking place outside of a Wisconsin Union building, all full service catering orders would include high quality disposable ware. We would be happy to provide china for a nominal fee. Certain business lunch buffets and breakfast choices also include high quality disposable ware. Please note that pick-up orders do NOT come with service ware, but these items can be purchased separately when you place your order.

  • No. You will need to acquire the tables and chairs on your own if your event is taking place outside of Memorial Union or Union South. Please confer with your Campus Event Services event planner as to how many tables will be required. UW-Madison departments and RSOs should contact the UW Physical Plant to rent tables & chairs. There are also a number of private rental companies in town who provide this service.

  • Yes. In fact, we have an entire pick-up menu! Pick-up orders can be picked up from Memorial Union as well as Union South. If you're picking up an order, please go to the information desk on the first floor of the confirmed building.

  • Most likely yes. Our talented chefs and catering staff can accommodate separate meals for those guests with allergies. In rare circumstances, when an allergy is severe, we do allow certain guests to bring in their own meal. (For instance, we do not have a nut free kitchen and some individuals may react when they are even remotely close to a nut or even nut particles). We ask that you as the event organizer ascertain any known allergies from your guests and communicate that information to your event coordinator. Please inform your event coordinator of any dietary needs at least two weeks prior to your event, along with your final guest count. 

  • You can view the Union's catering policies here.

Go to top of page