Guidelines for External Catering Providers

If the University Event Management team is unable to accommodate the food needs of an organization, faculty and students are permitted to hire external caterers provided they follow University policy and procedures.

Text: COVID-19 Update

Buffet-style and self-serve F&B stations will not be permitted at events until further notice. Food must be staff-served with enhanced PPE or individually wrapped / boxed meals. To learn more about COVID-19 policy updates, please see the Columbia University Event Policy.

Reason(s) for the Policy

  • To ensure that external and internal catering of food and beverages on campus follow consistent food regulations. 

University Event Management is the exclusive catering provider to Lerner Hall and Faculty House. No exceptions will be granted, except for religious reasons.

Event sponsors using external catering providers for events in Low Library or on the outdoor grounds should adhere to the following University policy and procedures:

  • Follow Procurement procedures for hiring an outside vendor.
  • Provide UEM with proof of insurance and other required documents, as outlined by Procurement.
  • If alcohol will be served at the event, provide UEM with a copy of the vendor’s liquor license.
  • If any cash is exchanged at the event, either in person or online, the event sponsor must also apply for a Temporary Beer and Wine Permit with the State Liquor Authority.
  • Caterers are responsible for disposing of food waste in the bins provided for the event. Dumping of food waste on campus grounds is strictly prohibited. Any clean-up required as a result of not following this policy will be at the expense of the event sponsor.