Guidelines and Policies

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  • Catering Guidelines


    To plan your event you must contact Events, Conferences, and Support Services Office at (804) 289-8585 to secure a location, schedule all events, and identify your food and beverage needs. The Events Office will verify the availability of University Catering.

    If you would like to hold your event at the Jepson Alumni Center, call (804) 289-8544 to reserve your space.

    We plan most events 30 days in advance, but will consider other requests with as little as one week’s notice.


    Final guest count as well as cancellations must be received five business days in advance of your event. This allows us adequate time for staffing and procuring appropriate food quantities. Your final bill will be based on either your guaranteed number of guests or the actual number served, whichever is greater. Off-campus clients will need to initial the Terms and Conditions that will be sent through e-mail and they will need to be submitted in addition to your final guarantee.


    Due to health regulations, food that is not consumed may not be taken from catered events. We enforce this policy for the safety of our guests. Leftover food is donated to the Richmond Food Bank when applicable.


    Alcohol may not be brought into or removed from catered events. For more details, see our alcohol policy.

    Event Duration

    The University’s alcohol policy limits the duration of certain types of events, as does our need to schedule multiple events in some spaces on the same day. To assist you in planning your event, the following are the allotted time periods for different style events:

    • Pre-Meal Receptions - a maximum of one hour
    • Social Receptions - a maximum of four hours
    • Served Dinners (with program) - a maximum of three hours
    • Buffet Meals (with program) - a maximum of three hours
    • Buffet Meals - (food availability) a maximum of one hour
    • Alcohol service is available for a maximum of three and half hours at any event
    • Beverage Breaks and Continental Breakfasts a maximum of one hour (refreshes on request)
  • Order Minimums

    Internal and external customers wishing to utilize University Catering Services must place a minimum order of $150 for food and beverages. In addition, a 20-person minimum is required for the following catering menus: 

    • Continental Breakfast, Buffet Breakfast & Served Breakfast
    • Buffet Lunch, Cold Plated Lunch
    • Buffet & Seated Dinner
    • Receptions

    There is no minimum required for ordering boxed lunches.

    If these minimums are not met, customers can use the Pick-Up Menu and pick up their order from the Heilman Dining Center. Alternatively, clients may utilize a vendor from the Approved Vendor List in addition to completing the Food Waiver Request form.

    Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Executive Director of University Dining Services.

  • Service Standards

    Every event is unique, but the following are the service standards we strive to achieve:

    • All events should be ready at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
    • One server is provided for every three tables for a served dinner.
    • One server is provided for every four tables for a buffet meal.
    • One server is provided for every 75-100 guests at social receptions.
    • One bartender is provided for every 75 guests with a full bar.
    • One bartender is provided for every 100 guests for a beer/wine bar.
    • We will provide coatroom attendants upon request.
    • All tables are draped or skirted.
    • China, glass, and silverware are usually provided for served events with kitchen facilities.

    Disposable products may be used for deliveries and pick-ups, or wherever regular kitchen facilities are unavailable.

  • Pricing and Billing

    All event pricing is based on a number of factors including your menu selections, your final guaranteed guest count, length of your event, location, service style, labor, and additional charges such as flowers, specialty linen, custom props, and rentals.

    Your catered event may be subject to a 6.0 percent Commonwealth of Virginia sales tax and a 7.5 percent City of Richmond food tax. An 19 percent service charge is added to off-campus events.

    Payment Terms

    If you are using a University of Richmond campus index number and account code, please provide it to the catering manager when planning your event.

    All non-University events require a deposit of one-half of the estimated cost of your event. The deposit is due 14 days prior to the event. The remaining balance will be billed by invoice Net 30 days. After 45 days, the invoiced amount will be subject to late charges. We accept most major credit cards. If you plan to pay for your event with a credit card, please inform the event manager assigned to you when planning your event.

  • Alcohol Policy

    University Dining Services holds an ABC license for customers’ convenience. The Catering Department can provide alcohol with 48 hours notice in advance of your event.

    In accordance with University policy and State law:

    • Service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited to anyone under the age of 21. We reserve the right to request age identification of anyone we believe to be under age.
    • Service of alcohol is prohibited to anyone suspected of being intoxicated.
    • No guest may take alcohol with them at the conclusion of an event, and may not take alcohol beyond the designated event space.
    • The maximum length of alcohol service is 3 1/2 hours.
    • If your event is longer than two hours in length, alcohol service must end one half hour prior to the conclusion of your event.

    We provide a standard list and inventory of beer, wines, and liquor for small to moderate size parties. Large events require at least one week’s notice to arrange alcohol procurement and delivery. We will gladly provide for your special beverage requests in case lots when available. Donated or homemade beer, wine, or spirits are not permitted by law.

  • Flowers

    University Catering will be glad to assist you with ordering flowers and any other special touches that will add to the presentation of your event. We work with several local florists that consistently provide high quality and value. Procuring flowers is done as a service to our customers and does not include any price mark-up or commission. Most flower arrangements will add between three and five dollars per person to the cost, but greatly enhance the ambiance of any event.

    The following are University Catering’s preferred floral vendors:

    • Buckingham Flowers (800) 322-4711
    • Flowers Make Scents (804) 897-6100
    • Petals (804) 288-1413
  • Specialty Linens

    While University Catering offers basic linens for your event, some occasions call for more specialized choices. As a service to you, we can order specialty linens from the following vendors. Please visit their websites to see what is available.