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New policy (as of 8/1/22)

It's wonderful to see the campus vibrant with faculty, staff, and students as we begin the fall semester. Sodexo / UNC Catering is the catering provider on campus, and we are eager to work with you to support meetings and events that are held on-campus. We hope you've noticed the investment we've undertaken to upgrade and enhance the dining options on campus which is based on student, faculty, and staff feedback.

We would like to provide you with a "Quick Guide to Hosting On-campus Events and Meetings". The Conference and Event Services team will be able to guide you through the process and answer any questions. Contact them at 970-351-2558 or Event.Services@unco.edu.

Generally, when the reservation is being made with Conference and Event Services for the University Center, Campus Commons, or other locations managed by them, Sodexo / UNC Catering will provide the food and beverage needs.

There are, however, some exemptions to this requirement.

  • What criteria does a group have to meet to obtain an exemption?
    • The meeting or event on campus with 15 participants or less and the event is not open to the public.
    • The meeting or event will have culturally responsive cuisine that Sodexo/UNC Catering is not able to provide.
    • The Conference and Event Services team member will communicate with you about your exemption request. If you haven't heard from a team member a few days before your meeting/event, please reach out to them to request an update.
  • How much time is needed to obtain an exemption?
    • We typically ask the planners to submit the exemption form 10 business days prior to their meeting/event. 
    • The exemption forms are found at
  • What is unique about Sodexo / UNC Catering?
    • Food Cart Options.NEW! These Food Carts will offer “hot” items like burgers and brats, and the other will have “cold” items like ice cream. These could be a wonderful addition for a parent, alumni, or special community events. Reserve them through Conference and Event Services.
    • Student Friendly Budget menu. These menu selections are designed to provide quality food and beverages at a budget price.
  • Why can't I just order from any provider of your own choosing?
    • Food Safety. Sodexo / UNC Catering is licensed, all employees are trained to serve, and protocols are in place to serve food safely and appropriately.
  • If we are granted an exemption what is required of the Outside Food Provider?
    • They must be licensed and meet UNC requirements for food safety. These requirements can be found below.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What kind of food can we bring on site?
  • A: The only food that would be allowed on campus would be food that is not offered by UNC Catering or foods that we are unable to produce. Examples could include:
    • Some culturally specific meals
    • Baked goods purchased at a grocery store (only allowed for small groups)
    • Food not purchased with UNC funds
    • Pizzas that are being ordered/delivered to the residence halls
  • Q: If an exemption is approved, what is required to bring in outside food?
  • A: The food provider must be a licensed food provider. Further requirements are listed below:
    • Food must be transported properly.
      • Keep it wrapped tightly.
      • Keep all cold foods at 41 degrees or below.
      • Keep all hot foods at 135 degrees or above.
      • Transport food in containers and vehicles that do not present hazards to the food.
    • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
      • Be mindful to keep bacteria from transferring from contaminated utensils, equipment, food, or other sources into/onto food that is ready to eat or other safe food contact surfaces.
    • UNC is a Pepsi campus, so all drinks need to be Pepsi products.
    • Use separate serving spoons, tongs, and/or spatulas for each food product.
    • Use a chafing dish or cover sternos to keep food hot. Check that temperatures are held to 135 degrees or higher.
  • Q: Do I have to wear gloves when serving food?
  • A: Yes. Food safety is important. Be sure to do the following:
    • Wash your hands regularly.
    • Replace your gloves if they encounter non-food items.
    • You must wear gloves when handling food that will not require any further cooking or washing before being consumed.
    • Do not smoke around the food or serving areas.
  • Q: How long can I keep food out to eat?
  • A: Properly held food cannot be left out longer than 4 hours.
    • Foods that require strict time and temperature control are considered TCS foods (Time/Temperature Control for Safety). Pathogens love TCS foods because they present an ideal environment for germs to grow and spread. Preventing TCS foods from entering the danger zone is a critical food safety practice. Bacteria grows most quickly between 70 degrees to 125 degrees.
    • These high-risk TCS foods should be closely monitored at all times:
      • Milk and dairy products
      • Meat and poultry
      • Fish, shellfish, and crustaceans
      • Shell eggs
      • Baked potatoes
      • Cooked rice, beans, and vegetables
      • Tofu, soy protein, or other plant-based meat alternatives
      • Sprouts and sprout seeds
      • Cut tomatoes, melons, and leafy greens
      • Untreated garlic and oil mixtures
  • Q: Can I serve hot dogs and hamburger straight off the grill and use the grill as my heat source?
  • A: Yes, you can, however, remember to keep your uncooked hot dogs and hamburgers on ice in a cooler to keep the temperature at 41 degrees or below.

If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out the your event coordinator.