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Catering FAQ

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!   

Get In Touch
8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Friday
Union South, Room 233
1308 W. Dayton St.   
(608) 262-2511


Frequently Asked Questions

When should I submit my order?

Please submit menu selections 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. 

How far in advance do I need to provide the number of guests attending my event?

Menu selections are due a minimum of two weeks in advance. Five 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.

What is the delivery fee?

All deliveries to your on-campus location incur a $35 delivery fee. All deliveries to your off-campus location incur a $75 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.

Can I take leftover food home?

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.

Do you have a minimum for catering orders?

If you are hosting an event in Memorial Union or Union South, there is a $50 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. Take-out 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.

Are menu prices different for weekend events?

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

Do I have to purchase dishware and flatware for my guests in addition to the food?

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 take-out orders do NOT come with service ware, but these items can be purchased separately when you place your order.

Do you provide the tables and chairs for catering services outside of the Wisconsin Union?

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.

Do you have items available for takeout?

Yes. In fact, we have an entire take-out menu! Take-out orders can be picked up from Tripp Servery (2nd floor of the Memorial Union) as well at Union South. If you're picking up an order at Union South, please go to the information desk on the first floor.

One of my guests has an allergy. Can you accommodate them?

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 planner.