Serving Food and Alcohol

Main page content

Conferences serving food

UW Tacoma offers catering services for every need from coffee service to snacks to black tie multi-course dinners.

Option 1: Preferred caterer (UW Tacoma makes the arrangements)

  • Use a UW Tacoma Preferred Caterer and have UW Tacoma handle your arrangements.
  • Our Preferred Caterers work with us on per diem rates and almost any budget. Please let us know if you have special requests or requirements. If your catering request is more than $10,000 we are required to get a minimum of three catering bids. We will share the menus and pricing options with you and find the best fit for your event. For a list of approved UW Tacoma Preferred Caterers please visit our UW Tacoma Preferred Catering list.
  • 15% service fee

Option 2: Preferred caterer (You make the arrangements)

  • Use a UW Tacoma Preferred Caterer and make your own arrangements.
  • 10% service fee

Option 3: Non-Preferred caterer

  • Caterer must be licensed and insured.
  • Caterer will be required to complete one-time-use approval paperwork
  • 25% service fee

Option 4: Pre-packaged food

  • Bring in non-perishable, pre-packaged, ready-to-eat food items. Examples: chips, soda or granola bars. 
  • 10% service fee

No homemade food items or items that require on-site preparation are permitted for conferences.

If you have questions about serving food at your next event please contact Conference Services at or 253-692-4676.

Serving alcohol on campus

Hosted Bar

  1. Apply online for a banquet permit. Cost is $11/day per event.
  2. Work with Conference Services to get approval to serve alcohol on campus.  
  3. Ensure you have a licensed caterer or approved pourer for your event.
  4. Post your banquet permit and approved alcohol forms in a visible location on the day of your event.

No-Host Bars

Option 1: Special Occasion License

(This option can only be used by non-profit organizations.)

  • Apply online for a Special Occasion License. Cost is $60. Special Occasion License application must be submitted a minimum of 45 days prior to your event date.
  • Work with Conference Services to get approval to serve alcohol on campus.  
  • Proceeds from alcohol sales must go to the non-profit organization.
  • Licensed caterer is required for alcohol service.

Option 2: Cash Bar

  • Work with Conference Services to get approval to serve alcohol on campus.  
  • Licensed alcohol provider is required for alcohol service

Important notes

  • At any event where alcohol will be served, food and non-alcoholic beverages must also be provided.
  • A campus security officer must be present at any event where alcohol is served. There may be additional charges for this security coverage.
  • Please confirm with your caterer that they are approved to serve alcohol. For list of UW Tacoma Preferred Caterers who are approved for no-host bar service please see our UW Tacoma Preferred Catering list.