Catering Information and Guidelines

The following policies have been developed to help you host a successful event at Sonoma State University. For questions, please contact Conference & Event Services.

Sole Provider

Culinary Services does not provide services at any event inwhich we are not the sole provider of food and beverages. This includes provision of linens at a “potluck” event.

Service Time

It is our continued desire to serve you promptly at the scheduled time of your service. Our menus have been designed to have a service time of two hours. Unfortunately, regulations do not allow for extended service times and catering staff is required to remove services that have been out for that amount of time. For events that require a longer service time, please inquire about a “refresh” service. Events that cannot be cleaned and cleared within two hours after the event due to the event room still being occupied or the event needs privacy will be charged a late breakdown fee of $25.00 per hour.

Booking and Payments

We recommend that the Request For Use of Facility and Service Form be submitted at least 45 business days in advance to Conference & Event Services. Catered events may be billed to a private party, departmental credit card, or a campus account. A signed contract must be received no later than 15 business days prior to your event. Without a completed contract and payment, Sonoma State University may not provide facilities and/or services. Any additional charges or credits will be assessed after the event.

Service Charges and Sales Tax

Prices included in these menus do not include a 10% service charge for campus departments and student groups, 17% service charge for off campus organizations or applicable state sales tax. These charges will be added to your final bill.


Your catered services are guaranteed within the terms of the signed contract by noon, 5 business days prior to your event. This guarantee is not subject to reduction. Your final bill will reflect this guarantee plus any charges for additional guests. If a guarantee is not provided, your last estimate becomes your guarantee. Our staff will prepare food and service for the guaranteed attendance plus a cushion of 10% for an event with less than 100 guests and 5% for events with more than 100 guests. If your guest count increases less than 5 business days before your event, we may not be able to increase the quantity of every menu item, but can offer an appropriate substitution.

Late Booking Charges

It is not uncommon for facilities and services to become unavailable due to demand. We recommend that you get your Request For Use of Facility and Service Form in as early as possible. Orders placed less than 15 business days in advance may not be possible at the level of service or at the time you desire. Other options may be available on short notice, however all catered services provided with less than 15 business days’ notice may be subject to an increased charge of $50.00 or 25% of your order, whichever is greater.


Catered services canceled less than 15 business days prior to the event may be assessed a 50% charge of the total bill. Events canceled less than 5 business days, excluding the day of the event, will be charged in full.

Holiday Rates

Due to increased staffing charges, there is a $1,000.00 minimum order charge for catered services on holidays.

Alcohol and Bar Services

Due to the state laws for alcohol service, all catering clients must adhere to Sonoma State University’s alcohol policies. Our bartenders have been LEAD trained and due to personal responsibility, they reserve the right to close a bar at any time based upon their discretion. If you are serving alcohol on campus, we must receive your request 45 business days prior to your event in order to receive the necessary campus approvals and obtain any additional license(s) from the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control. Bars canceled with less than 45 business days’ notice will result in a $50.00 cancellation fee.

China Service

Events needing china service outside of the Student Center and Green Music Center Hospitality spaces will be charged an additional $10.00 per person for plates, flatware, and glassware or an additional $5.00 per person for glassware only.

Theme, Decor, and Linens

Simple but appropriate arrangements for the dining tables and buffet tables are provided. Buffet tables will include a living arrangement and simple centerpieces with purchased meals. Reusable centerpieces are included and no credit will be provided if centerpieces are provided by the client. Conference & Event Services can share recommended vendors if you would like to have your own centerpieces created for your event. Please inquire for more information. Linen are included in all events with meal service except Create Your Own On the Go Lunch and Sonoma Blue Plate orders. If additional event tables not for dining are requested the cost is $10.00 per cloth. Skirting is not available for rental.


Culinary Services does not supply tables and chairs. Some rooms come equipped with tables and chairs and therefore will not need to be rented. Please clarify your table and chair requirements with Conference & Event Services when booking your space. These may be rented, delivered, and setup for an additional charge. Equipment may not be removed from the locations in which it is set up. Any damaged or missing equipment will be charged based upon the direct cost of replacement or repair and will be billed to the client hosting the event.

Food Safety

Providing quality and safe food is our highest priority. Culinary Services makes sure that hot and cold foods are kept within safe temperature ranges.

Special Diets or Dietary Restrictions

Special dietary meals can be provided upon request. Additional fees may apply. As much advance notice as possible is requested as we may not be able to accommodate last-minute requests. It is the client’s responsibility to advise Conference & Event Services of any.

Guests that require special accommodations and Culinary Services cannot be held liable for guests who cannot participate in your event due to unknown dietary restrictions. Culinary Services facilities handle all major allergies. Please be aware of the potential for cross-contamination due to the facility. Culinary Services does not guarantee that any items will be completely “free” of any ingredient.


Due to Health Department regulations, and in line with catering industry standards, any food not consumed at the event may not be removed, except by Culinary Services’ staff. No credit will be given for unused food or under-attended events.

Seasonal Availability

Due to seasonal changes and availability of fresh produce, meat, and seafood products, we reserve the right to substitute certain ingredients, for optimal freshness and quality. The price and contents of the menus are subject to change without notice, until the booking is confirmed.


Please contact Conference & Event Services for additional enhancements for your event.