On the Nov. 10 President’s Roundtable, Valparaiso University Dining’s ‘No Frills Menu’ was discussed. Student organization leaders were reminded of the long-standing campus policy to consult with dining services when hosting events with food.
“In an effort to accommodate the limited budgets of student organizations, this catering guide was developed to help meet your financial needs. This no frills alternative eliminates delivery and setup costs, because orders are picked up by your group,” dining services’ catering guidelines said.
If organizations determine that their dietary needs cannot be met by Parkhurst, then they must fill out a waiver on MyValpo. This includes the usage of food trucks, third party vendors and donations. When students indicate food service at their event via MyValpo, they will be required to fill out either the waiver or place an order.
“Making sure everything is submitted on MyValpo is really important for student organizations as we continue to use that as our primary student organization management tool and making sure that all expenditures and everything gets submitted on that,” said Ryan Bye, Director of Student Involvement and New Student Programs.
The no frills menu offers nine categories of various dishes: nibbles, munchies, chow, cookouts, buffets, breads/dessert, beverages, extras and miscellaneous. Pricing and serving sizes are included under each respective option.
For the buffet option, there is a requirement of at least 50 guests attending the event. Additionally, buffet pricing is based on events taking place in the Harre Union. All buffet purchases include chafing dishes, beverage dispensers and serviceware. Also, there will be one buffet attendant for every 50 guests, linens for food and beverage tables and the choice of one refreshment.
“A lot of it is in place about food safety and things like that. Valpo dining can ensure that food is being served the correct way and the safe way and that’s part of the reason why it’s in place,” Bye said.
Students must place orders one week in advance, failure to do so will result in an additional 10% charge of a minimum of $10. Delivery, cleanup and service are not provided by Parkhurst and are the responsibility of the organization that placed said order.
“In the event of cancellations, notification is required a minimum of four business days prior to the event. Failure to inform our department of a timely cancellation will result in billing for 50% of the function, and for any specialty products ordered for the event. Events that are canceled less than one day prior to the event will be subject to 100% of the estimated total bill. If the university closes due to natural causes, and the event is canceled, client will be subject to a 50% charge of the total bill,” dining services’ catering guidelines said.
By staying in contact with dining services, student organizations are able to negotiate better prices or find vendors that accommodate their specific needs.
“That would always be my recommendation is to always work with dining so that everyone can be on the same page and that way you just know moving forward,” said Bye.