USD Catering

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USD Catering is proud to be the exclusive caterer for the university community and its guests. The use of outside caterers is permitted only upon approval. You may submit such requests to the catering office: Hahn University Center 137.

Facility Reservations

The first step in planning your event is to select and reserve a space. USD facilities are scheduled directly through the Campus Scheduling/Special Events Office (619) 260-4592, or ext. 4592 (see exceptions below.) Contact Campus Scheduling for all co-sponsored, external, and student organization events.

The following facilities can be reserved by calling their offices directly: Manchester Conference Center - Conference Center Coordinator (619) 260-5976, or  ext. 5976. Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice - Operations Manager (619) 260-7808, or ext. 7808.

Catering Reservations

Call our office at (619) 260-8811, or ext. 8811 as soon as possible after reserving campus space for your special event. The USD Catering office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed university holidays. You may also visit our Online Ordering web page to submit a request. We highly recommend booking as early as possible.

USD Catering may not be able to service a request for catering even though it may have been submitted with appropriate advance notice.

You may choose your menu from our extensive online selection or, if needed, we will assist you in customizing a unique menu for your event. Food for catered events can be ordered on an a la carte, or per person, basis. Your menu should be selected and confirmed at least ten business days prior to the event for all served breakfasts, luncheons, dinners and receptions.

A request for service tentatively holds your date and time for catering. If we do not receive your completed final work order, a signed contract, and appropriate billing information, ten business days prior to the event, we will assume your event has been canceled.

USD Catering will continue to accept new orders until we reach the limit of our service capabilities. Our coordinators monitor the number of events accepted each day in order to ensure that we provide the quality of food and level of service our clients require and deserve.

Tables and Chairs

Please clarify table and chair requirements with the appropriate facility when reserving your space. USD Catering does not supply tables and chairs. We can assist you with the rental of belly bars, canopies, umbrellas, tents, stages, lighting, cocktail tables, specialty linens and floral arrangements, and we can provide votive candles for your event at a small fee per candle.

Guest Count / Guarantee

We require a final count three working days before the event (not including the day of the event). An earlier guarantee of five business days is required for groups over 100 or with special menus. You will be financially responsible for 100 percent of your final guarantee, or the actual number of guests served, whichever is greater. If a guarantee is not provided, your last estimate becomes your guarantee. Last minute guest count changes may result in an additional charge. If your guest count increases less than three days before your event, we may not be able to increase the quantity of every menu item, but we will serve an appropriate substitution. We prepare food for five percent above the guarantee for buffets only. For groups over 100, and for orders occurring on weekends, holidays, or during finals, there may be additional charges for labor and services.

Delivery Services

Please establish accurate delivery and pick-up times with our staff for your event. Service staff will not remain unless prior arrangements have been made. Event delivery and pick-up times provided on your contract are considered accurate and factual. Events with unscheduled return trips will incur an additional fee. The event location must be unlocked and available at least 45 minutes prior to the event starting time as shown on your order. So we may continue to provide complimentary delivery on campus, we have a $40 minimum food order.


There is no charge for cancellations made at least three working days prior to your event, a 50 percent charge for cancellations made two working days prior to your event, and a 100 percent charge for cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to your event.


As a service to our customers, USD Catering handles all billing. When ordering, on-campus groups will need to provide all of their poets code information. If we do not have the poets code information ten business days prior it may be necessary to cancel the food order for your event.

Off-campus groups will be billed (including CA state sales tax) to the billing address provided by the client. A deposit may be required to confirm your event. Please check with your catering coordinator for details.


All campus events with alcoholic beverages served must be processed through USD Catering. Click for alcohol procedures (updated 2/10).

Off Premise Option

USD departments may pick-Up food from an off-campus store or restaurant for an event within the following parameters:
• $300.00 Limit
• No raw or unprocessed foods
• No foods requiring refrigeration or heating to maintain proper food safety temperatures

This option is ideal for:
• Small meetings
• Limited budgets
• Spur of the moment events

Linens and serviceware can be obtained through USD Catering for a nominal fee.

Note: All events with alcohol must be catered through USD Catering.

Additional Information

Due to regulations by the Health Department, and in line with catering industry standards, any food not consumed at the event may not be removed except by USD Catering staff.

No credit will be given for unused food or under-attended events.

USD Catering purchases many of our products from outside vendors. Should a vendor fail to deliver an order in a timely fashion, we reserve the right to substitute a comparable menu item.

USD Catering staff are not allowed to accept gratuities.