Food and Beverage Policies

Food Vendor and Usage

Catering by Sonoma State University Culinary Services

SSU Culinary Services is proud to be the on-campus source for any catering or foodservice needs. Our team of professional culinarians and hospitality specialists can make your event dreams come true.

Available for:

All types of events hosted by campus departments, student organizations, and external organization clients.

Planning requirements:

Event planners should contact Conference & Event Services for assistance with coordinating catered services.

  • Catered services need to be finalized 14 days prior to the event
  • Pack and Dine services need to be ordered 3 business days prior to the event

Additional information: 

Approved Food Vendor

Campus Departments and Chartered Student Organizations are allowed to use Food Vendors who have been approved and vetted by Sonoma State University. See Approved Food Vendors for a current list. 

Available for:

Campus departments and chartered student organizations.

Event guidelines:

The use of Approved Food Vendors is allowed for all departmental and student events unless:

  • The event is taking place in a culinary venue. For example, Prelude, Overlook, The Kitchens, Lobo's.
  • Food is prepared or stored using equipment owned and/or operated by Sonoma State Enterprises, Inc.
  • The event is deemed an External Event as defined in section II.N. of the Food Service and Sales Policy.
  • The event has a planned attendance of 300 or more.

Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis for basic catered services.

Planning requirements:

The event host will be responsible for all coordination with the food vendors and ensuring that all necessary spaces and resources have been scheduled with the CES office to support the event. If an Approved Food Vendor is providing any service on campus, (i.e. setting up buffet lines, serving guests, etc.) the request must be made two (2) weeks prior to the event.

Please note, all service items including linens, plates, glassware, utensils, ice, etc. will need to be provided by the vendor. SSU Culinary Services will not comingle food service or service items with an Approved Food Vendor. 

Payment and contracting:

If utilizing an Approved Food Vendor, the ProCard can be used. ProCard holders should follow the ProCard Handbook and the Hospitality policy. Any needs above the cardholders per transaction limit or if no official guests will be present an EREQ would be required along with a signed hospitality form.

All space requests and resource reservations will need to be completed through the Conference & Event Services office.

Additional information:

Special Exception Food Vendor Request

Occasionally a campus entity may hold an event that requires a special food offering to enhance the curricular or co-curricular experience. These events are generally “signature” in nature and the food offerings are an integral part of the experience. SSU Culinary Services retains their first right of refusal for these events as well as their right to outsource the catering at their discretion.

Available for:

Campus departments and chartered student organizations.

Event guidelines:

Special events must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The event does not repeat more than once per semester.
  • The event provides a unique experience or advantage to the students, faculty, and/or staff of the University.
  • The event’s requirements are such that the currently approved food vendor providers are unable to fulfill the service requirements.

Planning requirements:

The event host must complete the Application for Special Event Food Service Provider form. If approved, the event host will be responsible for all coordination with the food service provider and ensuring that all necessary spaces and resources have been scheduled with the CES office to support the event.

Contracting:

An EREQ will be required if using an off-campus food service provider.

Payment:

The event host will be responsible for routing any invoices through SSU Financial Services if using an off-campus food service provider.

Additional information:

Potluck

A potluck is defined as an event to which participants bring food to be shared with other participants.

Available for:

Campus departments and chartered student organizations.

Event restrictions:

  • Potlucks must be classified as Private Events as defined in section II.L. of the Food Service and Sales policy
  • Food may not be sold to the public or given away free to the public.
  • A large sign (easily visible) must be posted in the area where the potluck is taking place indicating that it is a “Closed Event” or “Private Event” and not open to the public.

Donations

Available for:

Campus departments and chartered student organizations.

Event restrictions:

  • If the event is a Public Event as defined in section II.K. of the Food Service and Sales Policy AND the food/beverage is a Potentially Hazardous Food as defined in section II.C. of that policy it must be provided by a licensed facility and served and stored in accordance with applicable laws.
  • The sale of food that has been donated free of charge is not permitted per CalCode.

Planning requirements:

  • The health permit and certificate of insurance of the supplier must be provided.
  • Any alcohol donations must be coordinated with SSU Culinary Services.
  • If the event is a Public Event as defined in section II.K. of the Food Service and Sales Policy AND the food/beverage is a Potentially Hazardous Food as defined in section II.C. of that policy, the event host must complete Request to Supply Donated Food three (3) weeks prior to the event date. 

Additional information:

Student Food Sales

In order to raise funds in support of their programs and/or to provide food as an integral part of an organization's charter, an official student organization (in good standing) may be granted approval to sell or dispense food on campus on no more than one occurrence per month.

Available for:

Official student organizations in good standing

Event Restrictions:

  • Food sales are limited to Low Hazard Foods as defined in section II.B. of the Food Service and Sales Policy. 
  • Food distributed or sold must be in compliance with any agreements between Sonoma State University, or its designee, and contracted businesses.
  • No unpackaged foods that have been served to any person or returned from any eating area shall be served again or used in the preparation of other food.
  • Sales are permitted on an occasional basis to support fundraising for student organizations. “Routine” or “frequently occurring sales”, especially of food products, is not permitted. This includes coffee, hot chocolate, pastries, and refrigerated items.

Planning requirements:

  • Groups must follow established space reservation procedures.
  • Sales are permitted in any reservable location at any time.
  • Student groups must contact the Student Activities Desk on the second floor of the Student Center to get information regarding cash handling rules and regulations before engaging in food sales.

Approved locations and procedures:

Food sales in conjunction with a University-approved student event shall be located in areas, during periods of time and following the procedures designated by the University.

Approved Locations - Any reservable, non-food service location.

Approved Times - Any reservable time.

Additional information:

Mobile Food Facility (Food Trucks/Carts)

A Mobile Food Facility (MFF) may be engaged to provide food services for specific, non-recurring events or to provide food services unavailable from SSU Culinary Services or vendors on the Approved Food Vendors list.

Available for:

Campus departments and chartered student organizations.

Event guidelines:

  • No more than one MFF may operate on campus at any time without prior approval.
  • The total number of MFFs on campus is limited to one per week.
  • A chartered student organization may use a MFF once per semester for fundraising or cultural needs.
  • Departments may use a MFF once per academic year and only for events as described in section V.D. of the Food Service and Sales Policy or they may contract with a MFF for concessions-related activities as described in section V.F. of that policy. 

Planning requirements:

Student Groups

  1. The club requests space via RUFAS and selects "A Mobile Facility/Food Truck" in the Food/Beverage Requirements section.
  2. CES will approve the request if it meets Food Policy guidelines and is in an approved location.
  3. The club works with Student Involvement to submit EREQ for the vendor.
  4. Procurement collects required information (insurance, business license, health permit, permit to serve in Sonoma County) and contracts with vendor.
  5. Event occurs.
  6. Club submits an invoice for processing.

Departments

  1. Department requests space and notes MFF request on RUFAS.
  2. CES will approve the request if it meets Food Policy guidelines and is in an approved location.
  3. Department submits EREQ for the vendor.
  4. Procurement collects required information (insurance, business license, health permit, permit to serve in Sonoma County) and contracts with vendor.
  5. Event occurs.
  6. Department submits an invoice for processing.

Contracting:

An EREQ will be required for any MFF activity on campus.

Location:

MFFs may operate only in locations established and approved by the University.

Additional information:

Additional Food Related Policies and Forms

Food Services and Sales Policy

Guidelines you are required to follow in order to serve food at your event. 

Food Services and Sales Policy

Alcohol Service Policy

Guidelines you are required to follow in order to serve alcohol at your event.

Alcohol Service Policy

Permission to Service Alcohol

In the rare occasion that the mission of your club requires you to serve alcohol, you must obtain approval to do so by submitting this form.

Permission to Serve Alcohol

Department Specific Policies

Hospitality Expense Policy

Hospitality expenses may be paid to the extent that such expenses are necessary, appropriate to the occasion, reasonable in amount and serve a purpose consistent with the mission and fiduciary responsibilities of the university. This policy applies to activities that promote the university to the public and the provision of hospitality in connection with official university business and specifies the sources of funds that may be used for such purposes.

Hospitality Expense Policy

Student Club and Organization Opportunities

Culinary Services Donation Request Form

Culinary Services provides donations to clubs and organizations throughout the year to help enhance co-curricular student programs. Four donations will be granted to clubs and organizations per semester. The maximum amount granted per club or organization will be $250 with a total of $1000 donated per semester for the Dining Donation Program.

Culinary Services Catering Donations

Club Fundraiser at Lobo's

Culinary Services is happy to provide financial assistance to clubs/organizations each semester through the Club Fundraiser program at Lobo's. Submit a request to participate in the club fundraiser program at Lobo’s.

Lobo's Club Fundraisers