Food

All club events must have an E-Plan on file. If you are going to be serving or selling food, be sure to indicate that on the E-Plan. You'll be guided through the appropriate steps to take as you complete your Club Risk Assessment requirements but here is some helpful information to help you plan ahead. 

How would you like to serve food at your event?

We would like to use University Catering.

We would like to use an off-campus vendor.

A current list of university-approved caterers can be found on Administration & Finance-Procurement Services.

If a club wishes to use a vendor who is not approved, complete a Food Waiver Application. Even if your waiver is approved, the food cannot be delivered to campus if you are not using an approved vendor. The food must be picked up by a club member and brought to campus. 

We would like to prepare and serve the food ourselves.

If you will be preparing food to sell or give away, you must complete an Application for a Temporary Food Facility Permit at least two (2) weeks prior to your event.  

  • Submit an Application for a Temporary Food Facility Permit.
  • Complete the Food Safety Training. 
  • Once everyone who will be preparing food has completed the training and uploaded their certificate of completion to the Application, it will be approved.  
  • Print the approved application (this is your Temporary Food Facility Permit) and post it at your temporary food facility (food booth or BBQ).  

Our food will be served only to our club members. It is closed to the public.

If you are serving food for your event, you do not have to fill out a Food Waiver Application or Application for a Temporary Food Facility Permit because it is open only to club/organization members. Food can be purchased from campus dining or from vendors inside or outside the approved vendors list, however, if you use a vendor that is not approved, the food cannot be delivered to campus. A member of the club must pick up the food and bring it to campus. 

Our food will be donated.

If a vendor is willing to donate food for an event, a Donation Request Form must be submitted to the University Catering office a minimum of seven (7) prior to the event for approval. Donated products must be delivered directly to University Catering and meet safety and health standards. For further information about campus food policies, visit University Catering. All events on campus involving food must follow the Campus Food Services Policy

For more information, visit the Campus Food Services Policy page.

Alcohol at Club Events

Alcoholic beverages are not to be served at off-campus functions by officially recognized Cal Poly Clubs except when private service (i.e., for members and guests) is arranged by contract with a properly licensed third-party vendor. Club members may not serve or provide the alcohol themselves. Individuals at the club event must purchase their drinks directly from the third-party vendor, leaving the club completely out of the alcohol transaction. The facility or caterer must have a valid Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) license in order for the event to be approved. If a club is hosting an event at a location that does not already provide alcohol and an outside entity is hired to serve alcohol, the following is required:

  • Contract with a licensed vendor
  • E-Plan
  • Proof that the vendor has an ABC license
  • IRS Form W-9 for the vendor

In addition, each event must provide for the availability of popular non-alcoholic beverages for those persons less than 21 years of age. Students of legal age while attending an off-campus university-approved activity in the vicinity of a public bar may not have their rights denied except by representatives of the licensee or by civil law enforcement authorities for cause. If alcohol is available at an off-campus event, it must be noted on the E-Plan. In addition, any event involving alcohol at an off-campus location may require a meeting with The Dean of Students Office prior to the event taking place. If a meeting is necessary, a representative from The Dean of Students Office will contact a club officer to schedule the meeting.

Under no circumstances may club funds be used to purchase alcohol or to reimburse an individual for the purchase of alcohol (or purchase gift cards from companies that sell alcohol). For more information on alcohol at off-campus events, please refer to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.
(See Cal Poly’s Alcohol Policy regarding on- and off-campus use, service, sale and consumption for more detailed information)

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