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Food and Dining Policies

Sale or service of alcoholic beverages requires the proper license from the State of California Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) Board. Any event where alcoholic beverages are provided (hosted or not) must be provided/served by either University Dining Services or Adobe Lodge. No person or entity may individually provide alcoholic beverages. Events planned through either University Dining Services or Adobe Lodge will ensure that the proper licenses are secured, and that service staff are properly trained in the service of alcoholic beverages. Please refer to the University’s Alcohol Policy for complete information on the sale and service of alcohol.


Bon Appetit is the exclusive caterer to the Santa Clara University campus.  As part of having a dedicated food provider for campus, there are specific requirements in our agreement with Bon Appetit.    

  1. Bon Appetit has the first right of refusal for ALL catering events over $750 on campus.
  2. Events of SCU departments or groups arranged by and for members of the departments or groups exclusively (and not open to or advertised to those outside the SCU community) are allowed as long as the cost for the food and beverage is $750 or less.  (For example a department meeting over lunch, as long as it's $750 or less - prior the threshold was $200.)
  3. Bon Appetit is the exclusive caterer for traditional SCU community-wide events which includes Commencement, Grand Reunion, Welcome Weekend, Preview Days, Family Weekend, Open House, University Holiday Party and Staff Appreciation events. External catering is not allowed for non-affiliated SCU conferences.
  4. Bon Appetit is the exclusive caterer (for events where food costs are over $750) for the following rooms located in the Benson Memorial Building: Williman Room, Parlors A, B & C and the California Mission Room.
  5. Bon Appetit is the exclusive caterer of the Adobe Lodge. 
  6. All alcohol service on campus MUST be provided by Bon Appetit.  
  7. Catering (including external catering) is not to be resold for fundraising, profit or convenience.

Catering Costs over $750

If your event requires catering that costs more than $750, please complete the following.

  1. Contact Bon Appetit Catering or call (408) 554-1792 and inquire whether they can accommodate your catering needs.  You must contact them at least 14 days prior to your event.
  2. If Bon Appetit declines your event, then an outside caterer or food truck may be used.  Complete the Catering Form Over $750. Include a signature or email from Bon Appetit stating that Bon Appetit declines to cater your event and send to
  3. After the completion of your event (within 7 days), please email an invoice from the caterer or food truck to
  4. Auxiliary Services will complete the necessary steps to charge your department, club or organization for the 7.5% fee based on the cost of the food, delivery and tax.  This 7.5% is equal to the commission the University would have received from Bon Appetit if they catered the event.  These collected fees help fund the University General Fund.


Catering Costs under $750

For events with no alcohol service, and for which food and beverage costs are below $500 for the event, an external caterer may be used and an External Catering Form is NOT required.   Each University entity (University department, club or student organization) that uses an external caterer must ensure all trash, empty food containers, plates, utensils, napkins etc. are disposed of by the group and not left for the building staff to clean up.

Food Truck Specifics

If Bon Appetit cannot accommodate your catering needs and a food truck is hired, please contact Parking & Transportation (x7092 or email  for food truck parking approval. An External Catering form is required and 7.5% fee based on the cost of the food is to be paid to Dining Services.

Food truck parking is NOT ALLOWED at the following locations: 

  • The end of Santa Clara Street, nearest Benson (red-zone).  This is a fire lane and parking is not allowed.  Parking IS allowed on the northside of Santa Clara Street (facing the observatory across from McLaughlin/Walsh residence hall). 
  • Market Street (in front of Swig or Benson)
  • The Alameda (in front of the Bronco statue, Graham or Finn Hall.  

If you have questions, please email Auxiliary Services at or call x4070.


Catering Form Over $750

The kitchen in Benson may be reserved by registered student organizations (RSOs) within the Multicultural Center or the Multicultural Center itself, to prepare culturally authentic or ethnic food to be served for their social event.   A food handling workshop (limited to 10 students), instructed by Dining Services staff, is required of the students preparing the food.  The student group needs to complete the  Cultural Foods Form .  The form must then be submitted to 20 business days prior to the event.  The undergraduate student organizations that have been accommodated in the past are Intandesh, Chinese Student Association, Asian Pacific Student Union, Barkada, Ka Mana’o O Hawaii, MEChA El Frente, Arab Cultural Society, Igwebuike, and the Vietnamese Student Association.

Buying of Raw Materials for Food Preparation

If the Benson kitchen is to be used for the food preparation, then University Dining Services will purchase and store the raw materials (paid for by the student organization). 

For those groups requiring the use of the Benson kitchen a maximum of 10 students at a time will be allowed in the kitchen.

Guidelines for Kitchen Use

  • Closed toe rubber soled shoes must be worn at all times while in the kitchen
  • Long pants, shirts and hat are required.
  • Kitchen personnel will oversee proper knife handling, the use of a cutting glove & all kitchen equipment
  • No running or horseplay in the kitchen
  • Lifting correctly is essential. Always bend your knees, get a firm grip, and lift with your legs. Do not lift over 25 lbs. without help
  • Kitchen cleaned and returned to its original state




Food service in all buildings and at all outdoor areas is exclusively granted to Bon Appetit, which is the official dining services provider for Santa Clara.  Recognized undergraduate and graduate student clubs and organizations sponsored by University Departments may sell baked goods to raise funds for club events.  Three requirements apply to the Benson Memorial Building and ALL buildings on campus – (1) Baked goods – cookies, cake, brownies, rice krispy bars, etc. – must be made by the group members personally, not purchased at a bakery or supermarket or outside vendor to be resold. (2) No food product that has a required holding temperature may be sold or given away. (3) No beverage(s) may be sold or given away.

Tables in the Benson Memorial Center are to be reserved through the Center for Student Involvement, Locatelli Center 2nd Floor – (408) 554-4745.  

Note: University Dining Services is happy to work with University departments or student organizations who wish to have bake sales but may lack access to kitchens and ovens or time to bake. A “Bake Sale Package”, offering wholesale prices of an assortment of cookies, brownies, and bars in nibbler sizes, may be purchased by groups for resale in Benson Memorial Center. Contact the Director of Catering  (551-1792) at least 7 days in advance to order your Bake Sale Package.

Dining services within the residence of the Jesuit Community at Santa Clara University as well as dining and catering at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, are not subjecgt to the exclusivity requirements of the University Dining Services agreement.

Alumni holding private functions in Alumni Park may bring in their own food for the event. Alumni that wish to reserve this space should contact Paul Neilan, Senior Associate Director in the Alumni Office at (408) 554-5388 or

The Resident Dining Plan is an integral part of the University Housing Contract. The declining balance Resident Dining Plan is designed as a quarterly allocation to meet the dining needs of the resident student. All plans begin with a designated number of points which are available for food purchases anytime throughout the quarter. At the end of fall and winter quarters up to 100 unspent dining points may carry over to the next quarter and be added to that quarter’s dining plan if the student remains in on-campus housing, with remaining unspent points being forfeited to the University.  Students have the opportunity to donate 50 dining points per quarter to an organization that supports local food insecurity.  This option is available to students the last two weeks of the quarter and can be donated at any staffed register in the Benson Memorial Center.  At the end of an individual’s University Housing Contract no Resident Dining points carry over or are refunded. Forfeited Resident Dining points are reinvested by the University in the dining program and/or related facilities.

The Dining Plus Plan, a voluntary declining balance dining plan, affords a student the same sales tax savings as a Resident Dining Plan. Dining Plus may be established by any commuter, graduate or undergraduate student or may be used to supplement a resident’s Resident Dining Plan. A Dining Plus Plan may be set up with a purchase of any amount of points. Points are available to be spent as long as the student is enrolled; however, Dining Plus points are not refundable at separation from the University. Unspent Dining Plus points are forfeited to the University at separation.

SCU Catering Form Cultural Foods Form - Use of Benson Kitchen