Frequently Asked Questions

Stanford Catering photo montage of foods.

Q. Is Stanford Catering affiliated with the university? 

A. Yes, Stanford Catering is part of Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries, a division of Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE).  R&DE manages Student Housing, Stanford Dining, Stanford Conferences, athletic concessions, retail cafés, the Stanford Guest House and catering on campus.

Q. Why choose Stanford Catering? 

A. As the preferred campus caterer for over 15 years, no one knows the university better. Our mission is to provide the best catering service to the Stanford community in a fiscally responsible and sustainable way. Our dedicated team only works on campus, so we know all the ins and outs including the best access points, delivery routes, and elevators. All revenue from R&DE's auxiliary services stays within the university to help offset increases in student room/board and support student programs.

Q. What types of events do you cater?

A. Stanford Catering provides catering to all types of events on campus. We regularly cater board meetings, conferences, development events and celebrations. Each year we cater four dinners with over 1,000 guests. Every day we partner with university staff to produce memorable events in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. 

Q. How many events do you cater each year?

A. Stanford Hospitality caters over 7,000 events each year, ranging from simple coffee service to formal full service dinner. We are proud to partner with the university for signature events. We also cater one annual lunch, Multicultural Springfest Staff Recognition, for more than 5,000 guests.

Q. How does Stanford Catering promote sustainability?

A. R&DE is a leader of sustainability efforts on campus—from the responsible and humane sourcing of our food to our energy-efficient residences and dining locations and our commitment towards zero-waste events. Stanford Hospitality has partnered with Sustainable Stanford to ensure our catering not only meets but exceeds the university's Cardinal Green standards. We emphasize best practices in water conservation, minimizing resources and waste, and using local resources for food and services. 

Q. What services does my catering contract cover?

A. The catering contract for each event includes services for food, beverage, linens, china, glassware, flowers and décor, in addition to staffing for catering set-up, service and breakdown. 

Q. How do I stay on budget with all the various options available?

A. Before planning an event, we ask that you determine a working budget to include food, beverage, rentals and service. When you partner with Stanford Catering, we help you determine how to get the most from your budget. We are transparent with all expenses; there are no hidden fees. 

Q. Is there a resource available that offers guidance in budgeting food and beverages for my event?

A. Yes. Stanford’s Business Meals Administration Guide provides general guidance on appropriate costs and can help you budget for food and beverage.  That said, catering services involve more than just food and beverage. Please email us at stanford_catering@stanford.edu to discuss catering and event services. 

Q. How do I get started planning an event?

A. Once you book an appropriate space, invitations can go out with a specific location. Click here to view a list of university event locations.  Please note: some venues have inclusive catering or audiovisual management; others require clients to book catering and event services separately. Our strong partnerships with campus building managers and event services help us streamline your planning process. If you're not sure, ask us for suggestions.