MASTER CATERING POLICY
I. POLICY STATEMENT.
This policy is intended to ensure food quality, safety, and control, ensure legal compliance associated with the service of alcohol, and reduce the risk of liability associated with catering, alcohol, and other food services on the Occidental (“Occidental” or “Oxy”) campus.
This policy governs all catering, food trucks, and alcohol service that is hosted, sponsored, or administered on the Oxy campus by any Internal or External Client of the Occidental community.
Catering means the provision of food and/or beverage services.
Event means an approved occasion using Oxy’s physical facilities, put on by an Internal or External Client.
External Caterer means any provider of food and beverage services that is not affiliated with Oxy and which does not have a permanent, fixed location or storefront and who must prepare and/or cook their food on site.
External Client means an individual, entity, or group using Oxy facilities or services and having no formal affiliation with Oxy.
Internal Client means an Oxy individual, department, or group and anyone otherwise directly associated with the college.
Catering Services means Occidental College’s Hospitality Department. Catering Services is the only authorized catering service for the Oxy campus, providing food and beverages in compliance with California state law, the Los Angeles County Department of Health, and the Campus-Wide Alcohol and Drug-Free Policy.
Right of First Refusal means the right of Catering Services to enter into a catering agreement with any Internal Client before they enter into such an agreement with any other vendor. An Internal Client may only contract with an outside caterer for on-campus events with the consent of Catering Services.
Sponsored Event means an event approved as fully or partially sponsored by Oxy.
Sponsoring Organization is an Internal or External Client that is sponsoring (paying for) the costs of catering and/or other costs associated with an on-campus Event.
Take-Out Orders means food or beverages ordered from an off-campus vendor who has a permanent, fixed location and which is picked up at or delivered from the physical location, fully cooked and ready to serve, and brought to campus.
Catering Services has the Right of First Refusal in providing all food and beverage services at Events on any Oxy-owned or leased property and for all Oxy-hosted or Sponsored Events. All Internal Clients that use Oxy facilities, must contact Catering Services for all food service needs that equal or exceed $150 and/or are more than 15 people.
External Clients must use Catering Services and are not permitted to use food trucks or External Caterers for Events on the Oxy campus unless they are acting as a Sponsoring Organization.
A. Alcohol Service
Only Catering Services is authorized to purchase, store, serve, and sell alcohol for on-campus events: No other entity (department, caterer, or bartending service) may serve alcohol on the Oxy Campus. Catering Services holds a liquor license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that governs the terms of sale and service of wine, beer, and spirits at all on-campus events.
B. Alcohol Service for Students
In accordance with Catering Services’ liquor license, alcohol service for on-campus student Events must be arranged through Catering Services and abide by Catering Services guidelines. Students may not purchase alcohol from outside sources.
C. Catering Exceptions / Use of Off-Campus Caterers
The Assistant Vice President of Hospitality and Director of Catering are authorized to grant exceptions in special circumstances. Requests for exceptions will not be considered:
- If there are restrictions on the consumption of food and/or beverages in the requested space; or
- For any request for alcohol service.
Catering Services may grant an exception for religious or cultural events where the food is unique in nature and cannot be prepared by Catering Services.
When an exception is granted, the Internal Client may (1) purchase Catering or Take-Out Orders from an External Caterer on the Approved Vendor List, or (2) seek approval to purchase Catering or Take-Out Orders from an External Caterer not on the Approved Vendor List. Upon request, the approved and signed Catering Exception Waiver must be provided to Catering Services. Catering Services or Risk Management may perform inspections of food sales, distribution, and External Caterers as necessary. If Catering Services practices, standards, or guidelines are not followed, Catering Services may require corrections be made or may immediately discontinue the distribution of food by the External Caterer.
If a Catering Exception Waiver is granted, Catering Services will not provide supplemental service, staff, beverages, service ware, or other equipment. In these instances, the Internal Client is solely responsible for maintaining food safety, safely operating all equipment, and cleaning up.
When an Internal Client wishes to order food and/or beverage for groups of less than 15 people and/or where the total cost of which is less than $150, they do not need the approval of Catering Services and a Catering Exception Waiver is not required
D. Applying for a Catering Exception Waiver
Any Internal Client seeking an exception to this Policy must:
- Submit a completed Catering Exception Waiver Application to Catering Services no less than three weeks prior to the date of the event, or as soon as possible within the three-week window. Late submissions may not be considered. A response to the exception request will be provided within 72 hours of receipt.
- If the exception is approved, confirm the selected External Caterer is on the Approved Vendor List or seek approval for an External Caterer who is not on the Approved Vendor List. To gain approval for an External Caterer who is not on the Approved Vendor List:
- Contact the Risk Management Office and provide A Certificate of Insurance that shows current General Liability, Automobile, and Worker’s Compensation insurance, and that names Occidental College as an additional insured.
- Risk Management will perform an online search for the most recent LA County Public Health field inspection report to confirm that the vendor received an “A” rating within the last 12 months.
- Risk Management will evaluate the documentation and provide a response within 72 hours.
- Register the Event through Master Calendar (student groups must go through the SLICE Office).
- At least 2 weeks prior to the Event, make an appointment to attend a CEAC meeting to discuss logistics (student groups must go through the SLICE Office). To schedule an appointment with CEAC, please contact Celia Ruiz, Facilities Management at email@example.com
- Register the Event using the Event Services Request Form to request trash receptacles and other necessary items (student groups must go through SLICE Office).
- Submit an Event site plan with the event location to Facilities (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Risk Management (email@example.com).
E. Food Trucks
Catering Services and Risk Management have the sole responsibility for reviewing and approving the use of any food truck on the Oxy campus. Any Internal Client seeking to use a food truck at an Event must first contact Catering Services for approval, as outlined in the Catering Exception section above.
F. Procedures for Requesting Food Trucks
For the purposes of this policy, food trucks are considered External Caterers and must abide by all requirements set forth in this policy. Internal Clients wishing to bring food trucks on campus must apply for a Catering Exception as outlined above and must meet the following additional requirements:
- Food trucks must be in support of a larger event. A food truck cannot be brought to campus as the event itself.
- If a food truck used is not from the Approved Vendor List, a completed Catering Exception Waiver Application must be submitted a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the Event. Late submissions will not be considered.
- Where food served by the food truck is for purchase by attendees (rather than being paid for by the Internal or External Client) the Sponsoring Organization must abide by the following:
- The Sponsoring Organization must get approval from SLICE (for student events) or the Catering Director or AVP for Hospitality Services (for departmental events).
- Vendors must provide register receipts showing proof of sales within 30 days after the close of the event.
- 20% of gross sales (not including sales tax) must be returned to the College General Fund [via A001-7409-1520]. The Sponsoring Organization does not recoup revenue generated by the food truck. Checks should to be sent to:
Business Office ℅ CEAC ACCOUNT
1600 Campus Road - M20 Los Angeles, CA 90041
G. Loss of Catering Items
All non-disposable items and equipment provided by Catering Services remains the property of Catering Services. Should any of these items be lost, damaged, or unavailable for pick-up within 48 hours of the Event end time, the replacement costs of these items will be charged to the Internal or External Client.
H. Grills and Open Flames
Barbeque grills and food warming chafing dishes that require flammable chemical fuel (e.g. sterno) may only be used by Catering Services or with the written approval of Catering Services. Approval may be obtained by submitting a completed Catering Exception Waiver Application.
I. Leftover food
In order to limit the risk of food borne illness due to improper handling or storage of leftover food items, and to comply with LA Health Department Food Safety Code, leftover food and beverages remain the property of Catering Services and may not be removed from the Event. Catering Services is not responsible for (1) any food or beverages removed without our knowledge or consent, (2) food or beverages brought in by attendees, or (3) “sales” of food products or beverages not sponsored by Occidental. Whenever possible, Catering Services will attempt to recover leftover food from each event and safely distribute it to the less fortunate in the local community.
J. Weather Conditions
Outdoor events present special challenges to maintaining food at optimum serving temperatures. Catering Services will assist in planning a menu appropriate to the forecasted weather, but suggests External or Internal Clients have an alternate indoor/rain plan in the event weather is not conducive to outdoor service. Catering Services will use reasonable efforts to overcome weather-related challenges when possible.
Catering Services understands that Event cancellations happen and are sometimes unavoidable. If a cancellation is required, please contact Catering Services as soon as possible. In the event of a cancellation, the following fee schedule will apply:
- Large Events (100+ guest count):
- Cancellation within 14 days of event date: 25% of estimated food costs.
- Cancellation within 7 days of the event date: 50% of estimated food costs and any special orders.
- Small Events (100 or fewer guest count):
- Cancellation within 3 or more business days of event date: $0 cancellation fee.
- Cancellation within 2 or fewer business days of event date: 25% of actual food costs.
V. POLICY HISTORY
Responsible Officer(s): Assistant Vice President of Hospitality & Auxiliary Services; Risk Manager
Effective Date: August 28, 2023
Last Revision Date: August 31, 2023
VI. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES