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We appreciate the opportunity to cater your event. Please review the following guidelines and policies that will allow us to make your event the best it can be. Most important – book early!

UC San Diego Catering Business Office Hours

  • Monday – Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
    Closed on University holidays.

Advance Notice

Contact us as early as possible to ensure a smooth planning process and successful event.

To provide you with the finest service and to avoid additional charges, we require the following at least 7 business days prior to your event:

  • Menu Finalized
  • Final Guest guarantee
  • Signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) or contract to confirm your event
  • Department recharge information (COA Project/Task) or payment in full

For events with less notice, we’ll do our best to accommodate your request. Menu and service style options may be limited, and additional charges may be added to your order. HDH Dining Delivers is a great option when you only have a few days’ notice to plan an event.

Hours of Operation

Our normal hours of operation are Sunday through Saturday, 7:00am to 7:00pm. If your event is outside of these hours, please discuss with one of our Catering Event Coordinators.

Hiring Outside Vendors

UC San Diego Catering is the exclusive full-service caterer for on-campus events (per Regents Policy 5402). If we are unable to perform service for your event, we will provide a Declined Services Form. Before hiring an outside catering company, please complete the Rationale for Contracting Covered Services form and submit to UC San Diego Labor Relations for review and approval. Should you have any questions about this policy or the process, please contact Labor Relations directly at or phone 858.534.2810. You can read more about Regents Policy 5402 and the process to hire outside vendors on Blink: Catering FAQ


During normal hours of operation, Sunday through Saturday 7:00am to 7:00pm, our food and beverage minimum is $300 per event.

For smaller events, we recommend HDH Dining Delivers.

For events with start or end times outside our normal hours of operation 7:00am to 7:00pm, our food and beverage minimum is $600 per event.

On holidays our food and beverage minimum is $2500 per event.

For Morning and Afternoon Breaks during all-day meetings or conferences with multiple meal periods, our food and beverage minimum per break is $100.

Menu Selection

Please see our menus.

Our Catering Event Coordinators will advise you on the perfect menu for your specific event. Please contact us with as much advance notice as possible. Email us at, call 858.534.3688, or request a proposal.

Coordination and Production

Our Coordination & Production fee is similar to a service charge that is standard in the catering industry. This fee covers operational expenses related to planning and preparing for your event including administrative costs, vehicles, equipment, uniforms, site visits, maintenance, custodial, and additional overhead and expenses. This fee is required to ensure our fiscal responsibility as a department at UC San Diego that is not supported by State funds. This is not a gratuity for event staff, and UC San Diego Catering event staff do not accept gratuities.

Custom Menus

If you’re looking for something beyond the offerings on our menu, our talented Chefs and Event Coordinators will work together to customize a portion or all of your menu. We will need a bit of extra time, so plan early!

Allergen and Special Dietary Needs

Please notify us as soon as possible regarding guest special dietary needs or allergies. Be aware that egg, milk, wheat, shellfish, fish, soy, peanut, tree nut products, and other potential allergens are used in our kitchen. Our Chefs can prepare individual meals in an allergen safe zone in our kitchen or on site.

Event Staff

The number of staff needed for an event will vary based on guest count, menu, style of service, location, and timeline. Every event is unique. Your Catering Event Coordinator will determine the quantity and type of staff needed based on these details. We do our best to minimize the cost for event staff to our clients, while ensuring your event is successfully executed and your guests’ needs are met.

Delivery and Event Setup

Our staff will require a minimum of 45 minutes before your Event Start Time to set up for your event. Many events will require more time, so please discuss this with your Catering Event Coordinator.

We kindly request for the building and room to be unlocked upon our arrival, or have someone present to provide access to the event space.

Pickup of Equipment

For events without staff on site, our team will return to the event space within 30 minutes of the Event End Time to retrieve our equipment and remaining food and beverage. Please ensure the building and room remain accessible for their return.

Please do not allow guests to remove platters, baskets, plants, etc. from the event space. Missing equipment will be charged to the event.

Return Trips

If we are required to make a return trip because we do not have access to a room upon delivery or pickup following an event, a fee of $35.00 will be charged to your event.

This charge may also apply for requests made day of the event that incur an additional delivery to the event site.

Tables for Food and Beverage

Most events will require you to provide at least three six-foot tables. Your event may require more. Your Catering Event Coordinator will inform you of the quantity needed for your event. Let us know if we can assist in arranging for rental of tables.


We highly recommend completing the look of your event with linens for food and beverage tables, as well as guest tables. We have the following linens available for rent:

  • Floor length black 90” x 132” linens for six-foot tables
  • Lap length black 85” square linens for 60” round guest tables

For more colors and sizes, your Catering Event Coordinator can assist you with a quote from our recommended rental vendor, Bright Event Rentals.

Service Ware

Complimentary Compostable Service Ware (plates, cups, cutlery, and napkins) will be provided with your order based on the guaranteed guest count and menu.

Stylish and compostable Bamboo Ware is available at $4.00 per guest.

If you prefer China with Glassware, Stainless Cutlery, and Linen Napkins, we’ll be happy to provide a quote. Additional staff may be required.

Travel Fees

  • Events between 4 and 10 miles from campus will be charged $55.00 round trip per vehicle.
  • Events between 11 and 20 miles from campus will be charged $80.00 round trip per vehicle.