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Catering - UIUC

University Catering is the preferred caterer for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign events.  University Catering is easy, convenient, and provides service to a wide range of locations including the I-Hotel Conference Center, the Illini Union, and the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

Benefits of using University Catering include:

  • An approved purchase order is not required.
  • The department's C-FOP is charged directly by University Catering.
  • The department does not need to collect a certificate of liability insurance from the vendor nor verify that the vendor is on the Insured Caterer's list.

What is a non-University caterer?

A non-University entity (outside vendor) that serves food, beverages, and/or liquor at an event primarily attended by or open to the general public is considered a "caterer" for University of Illinois System purposes. Besides providing food, beverages, and/or liquor, the vendor  typically provides set-up (including the use of caterer-provided equipment), food service/onsite preparation, and clean-up. Caterers are required to comply with U of I policy including having proper certifications, licenses, and insurance.

Due to onsite labor, vendor requirements, and contractual agreement, an approved purchase order is required unless the outside vendor has a Master Catering Contract with the U of I System.

Examples of catered event:

  • Social Events
  • Official Receptions
  • Development events
  • Alumni Receptions

What is a non-catered event?

A "non-catered" event consists of food/beverage delivery or drop off only. The delivery person does not provide onsite service.  There is no set-up, no serving of food/beverage, and no clean-up. Vendors delivering food items for non-catered events are not required to be on the insured caterer's list. [Note: Some facilities have exclusive catering agreements that do not allow the drop-off of food and beverage items in the facility. Check with the facility to ensure drop-off food and beverages are allowed.]

The T-Card may be used for non-catered events when the vendor does not require a contract and the cost of the event is within the T-Card's single transaction limit. Please refer to the Travel Card (T-Card) page on the OBFS website for more information.

To provide food/beverage drop off for non-catered events, neither a master contract with the U of I System nor inclusion on the Insured Caterer's List (see below) are required.

Important Catering Information

For a complete explanation of catering definitions and insurance requirements, please visit the University Risk Management website.

‚ÄčAlcoholic beverages may be purchased according to policy established in OBFS Policies and Procedures Manual, 8 Payments and Reimbursements. If an University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Unit or any unit using an Urbana Campus facility plans the sale or service of liquor/alcoholic beverages at the event, the Urbana Campus Alcohol Management form must be approved prior to your event. Please refer to the Campus Administrative Manual regarding the University of Illinois Alcohol Management Policy and for instructions and online submission of the Alcohol Approval Form.

Utilizing Master Contracted Vendors for Catering

The University of Illinois System has contracts with several non-University Caterers.  An approved purchase order is not required when doing business with a Master Contracted Caterer and the caterer receives expedited payment when a T-Card is used.

Master Catering Contracts [updated: 9/29/16] - Click on the vendor name in the PDF file to open the vendor pricing and menu.

T-Card Purchases

The T-Card is preferred when purchasing catering using a Master Contracted Catering Vendor.

  • U of I System Units may obtain a quote from one of the Master Contracted Caterers listed on the spreadsheet below.
  • Units should verify that the pricing submitted on the quote matches the U of I System contract pricing and resolve any pricing issues with the Contractor prior to placing an order.* Make sure sales tax is not included as the U of I System is tax exempt.
  • Contractor provides a Catering Event Order listing the details of the event to be reviewed, signed, and returned to Contractor by Unit T-Card Cardholder. U of I System will not prepay any Catering Event Order.
  • If Contractor quote exceeds $4,999, the Unit T-Card Cardholder submits a T-Card Exception Request form to UPAY Card Services. 
    • The T-Card Exception Request form must be approved prior to purchase.
    • Please allow 10 business days for processing.
  • Unit T-Card Cardholder may place an order with a Master Contracted Caterer.
  • Contractor provides an original, final, detailed invoice/receipt including the Master Contract number to the T-Card Cardholder. 
    • Food, alcoholic beverages and gratuity amounts must be listed separately.
  • Unit T-Card Cardholder reviews the final invoice for accuracy and approval.
  • Unit T-Card Cardholder contacts Contractor with the T-Card number.
  • Unit T-Card Cardholder creates an Expense Report in the TEM System to allocate the T-Card transaction and attaches the final receipt.
  • Units must keep a copy of the original receipt on file. 
  • Contractor is prohibited from issuing summary billing and/or creating a House Account (an extension of credit granted by Contractor accepting partial payments of an invoice over a period of time).

*If you need assistance to resolve pricing discrepancies, please contact Purchasing.

What if a Master Contracted Caterer requests a purchase order?

  • Obtain a quote from a master contracted catering vendor.
  • Submit a Banner requisition to Purchasing.
  • Add the Vendor Contract number in the first line item description field.
  • Submit the quote and any other documentation via email to Type the Banner Requisition number in the subject line of the email.
  • The Purchasing Office will establish a purchase order to allow for processing of payments and/or change orders that may be requested.

Instructions for non-Master Contracted Caterers:

  • Obtain a quote from a catering vendor.
  • Submit a Banner requisition to Purchasing.
  • Submit the quote and any other documentation via email to
  • Type the Banner Requisition number in the subject line of the email.
  • The vendor must submit a valid certificate of liability insurance meeting the minimum requirements to the Urbana Purchasing Office prior to the approval of any Purchase Order. The vendor will be added to the Insured Caterer's List.
  • The Purchasing Office will establish a purchase order to allow for processing of payments and/or change orders that may be requested.
  • Due to the processing time that may be required to review and negotiate terms and conditions, please allow at least three weeks for processing through the Urbana Purchasing Office.

Insured Caterer's List

  • The insured caterer's list includes the vendors who currently meet the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign insurance requirements.
  • Insured Caterer's List [updated:11/12/18]

Who to contact

Urbana Purchasing - Phone: 217-333-3505

University Payables Card Services - Phone: 217-244-9300

Service Desk Request Form

Last Updated: November  12, 2018

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