Food and beverage for events on campus

UNI Catering is the official caterer for events and occasions on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Whatever size your event, you will receive high-quality food and service from our professional team. Our staff is committed to and focused on making your event memorable.

NOTE: UNI Catering's availability will be limited for the 2022-23 academic year. We are not currently taking any new reservations for Fall 2022. Please contact us after October 15 to make reservations for Spring 2023. For special requests, please call 319-273-2333 or email For alternative options, see below.

Using an Outside Vendor

The University of Northern Iowa welcomes events and activities that include food. All potentially hazardous food and beverages (those which must be temperature-controlled in order to remain safe to consume) must be prepared in and/or provided by a licensed commercial food service or caterer when providing food or beverages. Items prepared for personal consumption in university residence communities and other personal spaces are excluded from this policy.


Food and beverage in University facilities or on University grounds east of Hudson Road, may be purchased from an approved vendor following these criteria:  

  • The total food and beverage invoice for the event is under $250; this does not include delivery fees.
  • The food and beverages being purchased are not a high food safety risk. Items that would be low risk include but are not limited to:
    • Bakery items, such as cookies, pastries, bars, breads, etc. that do not require time and temperature control for food safety.
    • Pre-made deli sandwiches, entree salads, lettuce salads (or other greens), individual condiment packets
    • Relish trays, fruit trays, cheese & meat trays, crackers, whole fruit
    • Pizza
  • The primary audience is current students, staff and/or faculty. 
  • The food and beverage does not conflict with any other contracts or agreements. 
  • No alcoholic beverages are included.
  • Must be served within 4 hours.
  • Must follow university policies 13.07 Entertainment of University Guests and/or 9.43 Reimbursable Expenses.

If you wish to use a vendor not on the approved vendor list, a Request for Catering Exception must be completed.


For all food and beverage needs above $250, a Request for Catering Exception must be completed. This also encompasses events that include a higher food risk (those which must be temperature-controlled in order to remain safe to consume).




The university has agreements with a number of suppliers and purchase from those contracts is expected, and in some cases required like Coca-Cola.

For events catered by an Approved Vendor, beverages can be provided in bulk (1+ gallons or more) in a reusable container. 

Essentials in Maucker Union and Biscotti’s in Redeker Center will offer 12-packs of individual beverages, ½ gallon tea and 2-liter lemonade for pickup. For larger needs, please contact at least 10 days in advance.

For small group gatherings, a Keurig type hot beverage maker may be used.

Catering Service Supplies

Paper cups, plates, napkins, plasticware and waxed boxes are available at Essentials in Maucker Union. Departmental charge is accepted.

Become an Approved Vendor

Preferred vendors are catering businesses that are permitted to provide food on campus for events under $250 without going through the approval process for one time events. To become an approved vendor, fill out the catering agreement, and return the completed form along with a copy of your most recent insurance certificate and food license to

University Policies

University policy 13.17 Preparation and Service of Food & Beverage ensures the health and safety of individuals consuming food and beverages on university property in compliance with Black Hawk County Health Department regulations, the Iowa Food Code, university contracts and the laws of the State of Iowa. Please refer to this policy as you plan your event.

9.43 Reimbursable Expenses
13.17 Preparation and Service of Food & Beverage on Campus
13.18 Alcohol and Drugs
Coke Contract