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Food and Beverage

Food service is classified as either light refreshments or meal service. Event Services policies differ depending on the type of food service you select for your event. Please review the decision tree [pdf] to help you make informed choices in your reservation requests.

Light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in non-carpeted classrooms and select lobby areas.

Meal and alcohol service may be held only in designated reception spaces such as the Walker-Ames room in Kane Hall or the Mary Gates Hall Commons area. Meals should be limited to immediate service of prepared food as no meal prep is permitted in these spaces.

Food service is not permitted in carpeted classrooms, auditorium, or small lobby spaces. “To-Go” food service is not permitted. This includes boxed meals meant for consumption outside of the rented room.

Final food and alcohol service arrangements must be submitted to Event Services at least three (3) weeks prior to the event. Approval of a Temporary Food Service Permit and/or Alcohol Service Request Form may be required.

Some rooms may require arranging additional waste receptacles with UW Recycle

In many of the rooms, you will be responsible for your own waste disposal. Please plan to remove additional food waste from the building following your event or arrange waste receptacles through UW Recycle.

Boxed Meal Service

General Information

Boxed meals are advertised as an easy alternative to buffet meal sets. While delivery and setup may be easy, the waste generated by boxed meal service is oftentimes not taken into account.

When boxed meals are ordered, proper waste disposal is the responsibility of event organizers – not venue staff. This requires quite a bit of manual labor if guests are not properly educated on how to break down boxes and sort contents among recycle, compost, and landfill. For this reason, we highly recommend buffet-style meal sets when possible.

We do not ban boxed meals in our facilities, but we do have an expectation that event organizers put in the effort required to properly dispose of waste.

Please keep in mind all meal service must be designed for consumption on-site in a room where meal service is permitted. Meals service is not permitted in classrooms. To-go meal service is not permitted. The number of box meals ordered should not exceed the capacity of your room set.


At the conclusion of food service tear down, the following actions must be completed by event organizers.

  • All boxed meals emptied of contents.
  • Boxes contain a variety of packaging materials. Consider requesting fully compostable boxed meals from your caterer if possible.
  • Each meal service room has multiple waste stations that are composed of landfill, recycle, and compost containers – boxed contents should be placed in the appropriate bin.
  • All boxes must be broken down and folded before they are inserted into the recycle bin. This will ensure boxes do not take up excessive space in the bin.

Event Services staff are not able to assist with disposing of boxed meals. A $500 charge will be applied to the final invoice for any event/event organizer that does not follow the food service policies. Please consider these requirements carefully prior to selecting boxed meals as your food service option.