Catering Policies

Important Dates to Remember

At least 2 weeks prior to your event: All menu and setup arrangements, including a guest count, are due. To complete this step, and begin your order request, please fill out our online catering order form. Catering services are available 7 days a week, with the exception of Dining Services holidays that may differ from the holiday schedule for the rest of campus and severe weather closings. Please also note that certain times of the year become very busy for us. We will do our best to accommodate your request, but may require flexibility in your event times.

1 week prior to your event: All final arrangements and guaranteed number are due. If no guaranteed number is received, the most recent count will be considered your guarantee.

Important Items to Remember

All Principia departments, including student clubs and organizations, must provide their billing number at the time of booking. We also accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express or a personal check made out to Principia College Dining Services. You will be billed for your guaranteed number or the actual number served, whichever is higher.

 Tax Exempt

  • If your group is tax exempt in Illinois, we need a copy of your tax exempt letter on file prior to your event.

Service Fees

  • There is a $20 delivery and pick up fee for events without waitstaff.
  • There is no fee for orders picked up and returned by the client.
  • There is a $10 fee for equipment picked up but not returned.

Late Service Fees

  • A $5 or 10% late fee, whichever is higher, is applied if your event is booked less than 14 days before the event date.


  • If the client cancels the event 72 hours prior to, the client will be billed for expenses incurred. If the client cancels 24 hours prior to the event, the client will be billed for all charges.
  •  Due to weather: Should weather conditions warrant a cancellation of your event, customers will be called a day prior to the event to give them the opportunity to cancel. If a client cancels 24 hours prior to the event, no charges will be incurred. If cancellation is made the day of the event, the client will be billed for the expenses incurred.

Event Spaces

  • Event space needed for food service must be booked prior to making catering arrangements. Please contact as follows, depending on your desired location.
    • Academic buildings: Helen Coburn (x. 5104)
    • Leonard: Stephanie Young (x. 5437)
    • Hay/Crafton: Lora McMullin (x. 5024)
    • Library (when open): Deb Wold (x. 5073)
    • Chapel: Sue Thoma (x. 5148)
  •  Event space must be reserved a minimum of 2 hours prior to the scheduled event times. Events with china service will require a minimum of 3 hours.

Event Deliveries

  • All deliveries will be set a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the scheduled event time.
  • For events that don’t require a server to be present, events ending after 2:00 PM will be picked up the next business day.

Custom Menus

  • Our online menu includes many of our most popular options. However, we are happy to create custom menu options to suit a client’s personal tastes and preferences.


  • Our menu prices are based on current market conditions. We reserve the right to make changes when necessary. Prices do not include taxes, service charge, labor, floral arrangements, or additional rental items. All catering orders will have a 10% service charge added to the total food and beverage bill.

Linens & China

  • All events include tablecloths at the food and drink tables.You must specifically ask for additional tablecloths for other tables such as: registration tables, nametag tables, gift tables, etc. These linen charges will be added to your bill.
  • Table skirting is available upon request. Pricing determined by availability and requested color.
  • Events at locations other than the Howard Center, Principia College Guest House, or Hutchinson House will be given plasticware. China can be requested at a charge of $2.50 per person.

Tables and Chairs

  • Clients must arrange for tables and chairs for any on-campus event held outside of the Howard Center by submitting a TMA ( Catering does not handle table and chair arrangements.


  • Catering does not supply trash bins or recycling receptacles. If your event is being held outdoors or if you will need additional trash or recycling bins at your event location, please submit a TMA ( for delivery by Flex Crew.

Staffing Guide

  • The number of waitstaff required will depend on the type of event. Staff hours are calculated from event set-up through breakdown.
  • The minimum required number of staff is as follows:
    • Served Meal  – one server per 10 guests
    • Buffet – one server per 20 guests
    • Reception  – one server per 40 guests