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Planning Your Special Event

We pride ourselves in being able to meet everyone’s catering needs. The following steps will help you through the process of organizing your special event.

Arranging and Reserving a Date

Even if the date of the event is only tentative, please make arrangements with the catering department so that we can at least get you on our calendar. You may contact the catering, Sales, Event Planning department at telephone number plus area code, by emailing us at or stop by our office located on the 3rd floor of the Bennett Student Center, last office on the left in the dining room. Some arrangements can be made by phone or email, others require and appointment with the Catering Sales Coordinator/Event Coordinator. Office hours are Monday through Friday Time. Ex: 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

Catering arrangements should be made within 3 days of your event. While we can sometimes accommodate your needs with less lead time, sufficient notice allows us to schedule production and staffing. After we have finalized all the details of your event, you will receive a contract to confirm with a signature. Please carefully review all information on this contract for accuracy and completeness before signing. Make any necessary changes, sign and return to us no later than 3 business days in advance of the event. Reserving the Location Whether on or off campus the event location needs to be reserved before we plan your event. Events Management can reserve rooms and event space on campus. Contact the office of Events Management at 615.966.7070 or 800.333.4358 for reservations or to arrange tables, chairs, trashcans and other equipment.

Reserving the Location

Whether on or off campus the event location needs to be reserved before we plan your event.  Events Management can reserve rooms in the Name of Building, Venue, School. Contact Name of office at telephone number and area code to arrange tables, chairs, trashcans and other equipment.  When reserving the location please allow three hours for setup and two hours for cleaning time. Requests for room setups, including tables and trashcans for the food, should be made at this time.


All cancellations and/or changes referring to the menu, guarantee, and event arrangements must be confirmed number 3 business days prior to the event or a cancellation fee will be applied. Your guarantee is the number of guests you will pay for (whether that number or less attend). The chef will only prepare for the guarantee.


All catered functions must be secured by payment before they occur. University Fund, Purchase Orders, Departmental Accounts, Checks, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express is all valid payment methods.

All off campus groups are required to make a deposit of 75% one week prior to their event with the balance due on the day of the event. Tax will automatically be added to all non-university groups is a copy of a valid TN state tax exemption certificate is not received by 72 hours prior to the event. Non-University groups are subject to sales tax for all food events.

Tax exempt organizations are required to submit a copy of their exemption certificate 3 days prior to their event.

China Charges 

Our Catering Department, Sales, Event Planning Office, offers a high quality plastic products or an eco-friendly service-ware unless otherwise requested or noted. We also offer china service for any event at an additional charge which is based on the Food Guarantee.


As a standard, we provide Floor length linens for all food and beverage tables.
White 85”x85" or 53"x114" linens for guest tables or buffets. Receptions, and boxed lunches can be provided at an additional charge of $5.50 each.
Linen napkins can be added to events for a charge of $0.25 each.
85"x85" square linens for round tables $5.50 each
52"x114" rectangular linens for 6` banquet tables $5.50 each
Floor length table overlay $15.00 each
72" square linens for bistro tables $4.00 each
Linen napkins $0.25 each
Specialty linens can be ordered for your event upon request. Please contact our Catering Director to discuss options. A minimum of 7 days prior to the event is required to avoid special shipping charges.


To ensure that your event is a success, catering staff will be provided for all served meals and some buffets. Events exceeding 4 hours or requiring additional attendants will incur an additional charge of $20.00 per hour, per server, with a minimum of 4 hours.

Service Staff

The number of servers included for your event will be as follows:

*Please note that if the 18% staffing fee for your order is less than the actual labor costs to staff the event the 18% staffing charge will be waived and a flat labor rate will be charged for service staff.

Buffet/china service:
Buffet/disposable service:
Plated meal:
1 server per 30 guests
1 server per 50 guests
1 server per 50 guests
2 servers per 50 guests
1 server per 20 guests

The charge for each additional staff is:
Station Cheff:
$20.00 per hour (minimum 4 hours)
$20.00 per hour (minimum 4 hours)

Catering Equipment

As the host of the catering event, you are responsible for the equipment we have provided for the service of your catered event. Any missing or damaged catering equipment or supplies will be charged to your account at replacement cost. For very large events, specialty equipment may need to be rented at an additional charge.

Floral Charges

Our catering representative can provide you with a wide variety of options for floral arrangements and specialty decor through our local resources.

Food Safety

Due to food safety liability, guests may not remove food from the function site.

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