University Events

Guidelines and Best Practices

Contact University Events

When you have a catered event in mind requiring a reservable event space, please contact University Events via completion of the Department Event Request Form to request space at least four (4) weeks to two (2) months in advance of your event. Even if you are not certain of your details (i.e., headcount, room set, menu selections and so on), it's best practice to connect with UE to ensure you have the space you need.

UE can assist with all room set-up logistics, including creating room diagrams for your event. These can be uploaded during the booking process of COUPA or you may email them and we'll upload it to your event order.

Contact Brandeis Catering

If your event requires a reservable space (versus a catering pick-up), it is best practice to secure your event space with UE before contacting Brandeis Catering or placing your order via COUPA. This will ensure you have the right dates and spaces secured for your event.

Once your space reservation is confirmed, you may choose to place your catering order via Coupa Marketplace or speak with a Brandeis Catering staff member directly, depending on the complexity of your needs. Please allow at least four (4) weeks before your event to begin discussion of food selections.

All non-kosher catering orders should be finalized, with guaranteed head counts, at least five (5) business days before your event. While we will make every effort to accommodate last-minute orders (less than 5 business days notice), we may not be able to guarantee that your first-choice selections can be fulfilled. Our team of catering professionals is on hand to create a customized menu to meet the individual needs of your group as well as suggest an array of appropriate accompaniments.

Some catering arrangements through Brandeis Catering can be made by phone, email or online. Other catering arrangements require an in-person appointment with one of our event planning specialists. It's easy to get in touch with Brandeis Catering about your catering needs. Here are the options:

  • Visit our office: Please give us a call to make an appointment. Our office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Please be aware that we are closed on some holidays.
  • Visit us on the web: You may contact us about your catering needs through our MarketPlace+/Coupa website. The ultimate in convenience, this site lets you easily view our fabulous catering menus, see your order history, place recurring orders and much, much more.
  • Give us a call: You may speak with a catering specialist by calling 781-736-4304.
  • Email:

Event Payment

The COUPA/Catertrax ordering system automatically generates a purchase order and is the recommended method of payment. In certain instances, charge lines or credit cards are also acceptable.

Event Confirmation and Guarantees

Orders must be confirmed no less than five (5) business days before your scheduled event date. You will also be asked to provide the catering department with a "final" number of guests that will attend your event; the "estimated" number will be used if you don't know the "final" number.

Event Changes and Cancellations

We understand that last minute changes and cancellations are occasionally unavoidable. We will work with you to minimize your charges, but please be advised that if we are notified of your changes or cancellation after this deadline of five (5) business days, you will be responsible for expenses already incurred. To cancel your event order. please email the Catering Department or call 781-736-4304 as soon as possible.

If Brandeis University is closed due to inclement weather, all catered events on that day will be automatically canceled.

Delivery Guidelines

Orders are delivered 30 minutes before your event unless otherwise noted. Times reflect the academic year. For summer hour pick-up times, contact the catering office.

  • Catering orders may also be picked at the following locations:
    • Usdan Café: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday
    • Sherman Café: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Sunday
  • Kosher catering may only be picked up at:
    • Sherman Café: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Kosher Catering

Whether you require a single meal for a kosher guest or a full-service event, we can fulfill all of your catering needs. Whenever possible, all kosher catering orders should be placed with at least 10 business days before your event. Please see the separate kosher guide for menu options and email the Catering Department or call 781-736-4304 as soon as possible. For information regarding KVH kosher requirements and rabbinical supervision, email the Catering Department or call 781-736-4304

Faculty Club

For booking and room capacity questions, email the University Events Office or call 781-736-4300. All events in the Faculty Club offer china service for an additional charge and will require wait staff. Eco-friendly serviceware is available upon request and is included in the price of the ordered meal. Wait staff fees are not included in the food and non-alcoholic beverage minimum (wait staff at $42.50/hour with a five-hour minimum).

Stein Pub

All events that occur while the Stein is open will be assessed and charged based on the booking. For booking and room capacity questions, contact our Director of Sherman,  Richard O'Brien at  Events at the Stein require wait staff at $212.50 ($42.50/hour with a 5-hour minimum). Below are the minimums and fees associated with the Stein:

Capacity Food and Non-alcoholic Beverage Minimum
108 (includes staff) $700

Service Staff

To ensure that your event is a success, catering staff will be required for all served meals and some buffets. Continental breakfasts, breaks, and some receptions are priced for self-service.

The charge for each staff member is:

  • Wait staff – $42.50 per hour (minimum 5 hours)
  • Station chefs – $55.00 per hour (minimum 5 hours)
  • Bartenders – $46.50 per hour (minimum 5 hours)
  • Carders for undergraduate bar service – $42.50 per hour (minimum 5 hours)

Standard Staffing charges include 1-2 hours of preparation, 2-3 hours of event time and 1 hour of breakdown. Events longer than the standard staffing charges may require extended wait staff and bartender charges.

The following references will ensure staffing a successful catered event:

Plated Meal

Type of Service Staffing
Plated Catering 1 wait staff per 15 guests
Plated VIP Catering 1 wait staff per 10 guests
Reception 1 wait staff per 30 guests
Bar I bartender per 50 guests

Buffet Service

Number of Guests Disposables China
20-50 guests 1 wait staff +1 wait staff
51-100 guests 2 wait staff +2-3 wait staff
101-150 guests 4 wait staff +4-5 wait staff
151-200 guests  6 wait staff +6 wait staff
201-250 guests 7 wait staff +7 wait staff
251-300 guests 8 wait staff +8 wait staff

Catering Equipment

As the host of the catered event, you are responsible for contacting the University Events Office at 781-736-4300 or, to place your order of tables, chairs, trash cans, AV equipment and custodians. Brandeis Catering can help determine your food service tables needs and provide china, silverware, glassware, for an additional charge for your catered event. You may be charged to replace any missing or damaged catering equipment or supplies. For very large events, specialty equipment may need to be rented at an additional charge.

China Charges

We provide Eco-Friendly serviceware included in all catering prices. We offer Non-Kosher and Kosher China at an additional charge as listed below. 

China Service

Type of Service Cost
Full Meal Service and Silverware $8.00 Per Guest
Reception China and Silverware $5.99 Per Guest
Coffee and Beverage Service $2.99 Per Guest
Beer and Wine Glass Service $3.99 Per Guest
Full Bar service Contact Brandeis Catering for a rental quote

Kosher China, Diary and Meat

Type of Serviceware Cost
Full Meal Service and Silverware $8.00 Per Guest
Reception China and Silverware $5.99 Per Guest
Coffee and Beverage Service $2.99 Per Guest
Beer and Wine Glass Service $3.99 Per Guest
Full Bar service Contact Brandeis Catering for a rental quote

Floral Charges

We will be happy to order, receive, and handle floral arrangements for you. For decorative requests, an additional fee will be determined in accordance with your specific needs.

Decorative Cakes

Specialty decorations and images can be printed on cakes with rice paper at an additional charge. To receive a quote please contact the Catering Department at and provide them all the details of your request. Images for Non-Kosher Cakes need to be received by the Catering Department seven (7) business days prior to your event.


We provide 90 x 132 white floor length linen with a blue topper for food and beverage tables at no charge. We also provide standard house linen for guest tables for buffets and served meals at no charge. If you would like linen to be placed on guest tables for receptions, breaks and meeting tables, the pricing is as follows:

Linen Cost
Round (standard house length) (85x85) $10 per linen
Banquet 6ft or 8ft table (standard house length) (52x114) $10 per linen
Floor length 6ft or 8ft table (90x132 or 90x156) $13.00 per linen for 6ft
$16.00 per linen for 8 ft
Floor length Round (120 or 132) $13.00 per linen
Napkins Blue Napkins are included with China Buffets and Served Meals

Specialty linens are available upon request for an additional charge.

Food Removal Policy

Due to health regulations, it is the policy of Brandeis Catering that excess food items from events cannot be removed from the event site. Items purchased for pick up should be properly stored prior to the event and removed and disposed of by the host of the event.

Alcohol Service and Policy

Brandeis University holds the appropriate licensing to serve all alcohol on campus. In order to maintain this license, trained and experienced staff must be present at each event to manage the service of alcohol in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts liquor laws. Brandeis Catering requires food and non-alcoholic beverages at all events when alcohol is present for the duration of your event.

All alcoholic beverages must be served by our TIPS Certified personnel and consumed in designated areas. Proof of age will be required. Brandeis Catering reserves the right to refuse service of alcoholic beverages to any person. All bartenders are TIPS Certified. Please contact the catering office at 781-736-4304 or directly to learn more about Brandeis University catering Alcohol Policies and to coordinate bartending services.

We recommend at least one bartender for every 50 guests for Bar service.