UM Catering Services and Guidelines

Guest Service Styles
We offer five levels of service to meet your needs:
  1. Pick-up:  The 16% service charge is waived for this option.  Simply pick up your food items at the location specified by UM Catering.  Typically this will be the Market in the UC.

  2. Delivery:  There is no delivery fee for events held on the main UM campus., but there is a minimum order of $50.00 for any event outside of the University Center.   Delivery fee for off-campus events within five miles of UM Catering is $25.00 per event.  This include the Missoula College campuses. This fee includes initial delivery and final pick-up of your catering. If your event has multiple delivery times, an additional $25.00 will be assessed for each delivery time.  If your event is five miles or more from UM Catering, your delivery fee is determined based on mileage and time to and from your event location.

  3. Reception:  A reception can range from food displayed on one or more buffet tables which may be refreshed throughout your event, to tray-passed hors d' oeuvres served by UM Catering staff.  Some event planners prefer a combination of passed and buffet items which we happily accommodate.

  4. Buffets:  A buffet menu offers your guests a self-serve option.  Delivered, set up, and monitored by our service staff.

  5. Served:  A served meal is a more individualized level of service.  We will work with you to determine the style of service that best meets your event needs. 

Service Time

Normal service for all events is three hours, not including set-up or clean-up time.  If additional time is required, service staff costs will be calculated accordingly.  Additional charges will be calculated and assessed for all events that occur on University holidays.  

Vegan, Vegetarian, and Special Requirements

Our chefs are happy to meet any dietary needs you may have.  From vegan and vegetarian, to gluten or dairy-free, we can create a delicious menu for all guests.  Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements when booking your event.

Outside Food and Beverage / Leftover Food 

To ensure food safety, UM Catering does not allow outside food or beverages to be brought into an event.  Again for food safety reasons, leftover food items remain the property of UM Catering and may not be taken from any event.


We serve all plated meals, hot buffets, indoor hors d’oeuvre receptions, continental breakfasts, and sandwich buffets on china with linen unless otherwise requested by the client.  For outdoor events, breaks, and coffee services, we use high-quality, biodegradable “green” service ware.  You may choose to have china service for these events for an additional $1.75 per person. 


Our standard is to provide one white tablecloth on each guest table, and white linen with skirting on food and beverage tables.  Some table arrangements may require additional linen, colors, sizes, or special order and will be charged accordingly.  If you would like linen placed on non-food tables (such as registration tables), or require additional linen and skirting, there will be an additional charge per tablecloth.    

Flowers and Decor  

We will be happy to order, receive, and handle floral and decorative arrangements.  The fee for this service is determined on an individual basis.  Additional charges may apply for deliveries which arrive more than two hours or more prior to your event.

Catering Equipment

As the host of the catered event, you are responsible for the equipment we have provided for the service of your event.  Please make sure equipment is not thrown away or damaged. Any missing or damaged equipment or supplies will be charged to your account at replacement cost.


All cancellations or changes to the menu, guest count guarantee, or event arrangements must be confirmed three business days prior to your event.  If the event planner does not contact UM Catering with the final count three business days prior to the event, UM Catering will prepare for the estimated number and charge accordingly.  UM Catering will bill at the rate of 50% of the final guarantee for any event that is canceled within three business days prior to the scheduled event date.  

Service Charge

A 16% service charge is applied to all food and beverage charges except for those orders which are picked up.  A portion of this amount is distributed to the UM student staff who assisted with preparing and serving your event.

Non-UM Department Payment Methods

UM Catering requires a 75% payment due 14 days prior to (or at the time of booking if less than 14 days) your scheduled event date.  Payment can be made via credit card, check, or cash.  Final payment is due three business days prior to your scheduled event date, or the day of your event if there were last minute additions or changes.  

UM Department Payment Methods

UM Departments may pay their catering invoice via their departmental Banner Index Code, or their UM Foundation Account.  All UM sponsored events utilizing the "Entertainment Expense Account" exceeding $30.00 require a UM Entertainment Approval form be completed.

UM Catering offers an additional 10% discount when departments meet the following:

  • Use your banner index code when placing your order.

  • Order items from our Catering Menu.  

  • Confirm final menu choices 10 days or more prior the event date.

  • Provide final guest count three days prior the event.