Catering at Valparaiso University is provided by the Dining Services Department on campus. We offer many catering and banquet services ranging from simple beverage breaks and snacks to formal dinner options. We strive to provide excellent quality and service and hope to assist you in making your next event a success. Our catering menu features our most requested items. Many other choices are available. Please feel free to meet with us to discuss a specially designed menu and to make any other catering plans together.

As you begin to plan an event where food will be served, it is important to secure a location first. Space is often limited and some locations are much better suited to catering needs. After your room is booked, make sure that you have our current catering brochure, then follow the directions listed on the following pages. In addition to that information, there are a few additional aspects of catering that applies to campus organizations and student groups.

Reserving the Room

It is the customer’s responsibility to reserve room/venue, tables, chairs, audio-visual equipment and any additional needs through the appropriate University Building. Please visit to reserve a room. Dining Services is not responsible for setting up or providing tables or chairs. Please make arrangements prior to contacting Dining Services Catering Department. Dining Services will require a reservation number for all functions held at the University.


We ask that final menu selections be made two weeks prior to your event to ensure ample time for staffing, linen and china, etc. Please place your order at or call 219.464.5016 for Dining questions. We do realize that special events may arise unexpectedly and we will do our best to provide you service on short notice. Events made less than two business days will have a 10% surcharge added to the final bill.

Final Counts

For all events Dining Services requires a guaranteed guest count three business days prior to your event. If the final number is not received, the original number given at time of booking will be used. Billing is based on the final count. If the number of guests is higher than the final guaranteed count, you will be charged accordingly.


All cancellations are required to be made four business days prior to the event. Cancellations made less than four business days prior to the event are subject to 50% of the estimated total bill. Events that are canceled less than one day prior to the event will be subject to 100% of the estimated total bill. Events canceled due to natural causes, client will be subject to 50% charge of total bill.

Outside Services

Food service events scheduled within a University Building must be catered by Dining Services unless prior approval is made with a representative from Dining Services. This includes completing a food release form, relieving the University of any liability. This also applies to groups hosting non-commercial functions. Please see Dining Services Release Agreement for all rules and regulation. The release agreement must be turned in two weeks prior to event date.

Catering Service Options 

China Service: Includes all flatware, glasses and plates for formal events.

Plastic Service: We offer heavy black plastic plates with paper napkins, plastic cups and plastic flatware as a standard for more casual events.

Basic Catering: The economical way to go. Save money by picking up your food yourself at the Dining Services Office.

China Charges 

$1.00 per person for china in all locations on campus except Harre Union, Christopher Center, and Mueller Hall.

Additional glassware (example barware) is available at .75¢ per glass. 

Rental costs for additional equipment may incur and will be billed to the client for events with 500 people or more. 

Linen and Skirting

Linen tablecloths and napkins are available in a variety of colors. Any additional linen is $3.00 per cloth and $15.00 per skirting. If you prefer colored linen other than our standard, please contact the Catering Department at 219-464-5016 to discuss all the options available to you. Prices vary depending on your choices. 


Dining Services will supply single bud vases with one stem for buffet and served meals. Other optional centerpieces and additional fresh flower arrangements are $5.00- $10.00 per table accordingly. You may also provide your own table arrangements. Please inform Dining Services of your decoration needs. Candle service available. Please note: in accordance with Indiana State Safety Regulations, candles used for decoration (if they are to be lit) must be contained with glass or fireproof enclosures.

Delivery Fees

There is no delivery fee for all catering services held on campus unless the total bill is under $50.00. In this situation, a $30.00 delivery fee will be applied. All off-campus events will be subject to minimum $65.00 delivery fee, depending on the circumstances of the event. All services held in the Harre Union will not be subject to a delivery charge. Events in Harre Union under $50.00 are subject to a labor charge.

Leftover Food

In accordance with federal and state food safety guidelines, individuals may not leave the premises with food products of any kind without prior approval. The only exception is for bakery products. This is standard for the catering industry. The policy is in effect for the following reasons: 

Liability: Dining Services is responsible for the safety of all the food it prepares and serves. Food that is mishandled is very susceptible to food borne illness. Food items must be properly handled, chilled, stored, heated and served. 

Cost: Additional labor and equipment would require to package, label, store and issue the products to customers.


Please make arrangements with Dining Services prior to your event if you need accommodations for accepting or collecting donations. Dining Services will set-up and take-down, and will handle your donations for $30 or charged accordingly.


To ensure that your event is a success, catering staff will be provided for all events as per the following:

Served meals: one service worker will be provided for every two tables.

Buffets: one service worker will be provided for every four tables.

Receptions: one service worker will be provided for every four tables.

Al La Carte items: a service worker will be provided to set up and remove our equipment when the event is complete. 

Additional Labor

Service workers are $20.00 an hour. Functions over four hours and/or 500 guests can be subject to an additional service worker fee. When requesting additional labor, you must follow the procedures for ordering. We request that you inform us of your labor needs two weeks prior to your event to ensure ample time for staffing.

Outside Groups

Groups non-affiliated with Valparaiso University will be subject to a 15% fee on final bill before tax.