Catering Policies and Procedures

Our team of catering and event professionals is available to assist you with planning every aspect of your event. Please contact us to make an appointment to create your perfect event.

Foods Service Hours 

Monday - Saturday: 7:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Catering service through Einstein’s, Starbucks, Huskie Den and Qdoba are limited to when the locations are open.

There will be a 20% surcharge for other hours.

A 30% surcharge will be applied for NIU-recognized holidays and holiday weekends.

NIU Department Discount

All NIU department orders receive a 15% discount for buffet or served breakfast, lunch, dinner and buffet menu items. No substitutions are allowed to receive the discount.

Minimum Requirements

If your event doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, an additional $100 charge will be added to your bill. Tray Pickup or retail dining locations (Starbucks, Einsteins, The Huskie Den) options are also available with no minimum order requirement.

  • Refreshment requests are $ 200 minimum.
  • Buffets and/or Banquet Service, 25 guest minimum.

Sales Tax and Other Charges

Price quotes do not include applicable taxes of 10%. If your organization is tax-exempt, please tell your event coordinator at the time of booking. NIU does not bill Gratuity. Prices are subject to change without notice until your contract is completed.

Late Charge Policy/Serving Time

An additional charge will be assessed if your group delays serving time of more than 30  minutes.

Special Dietary Needs

Special Dietary needs must be addressed with your event planner when you book your meal. A special meal count must be included in the final guarantee. Guests receiving special meals must be identified with a table tent or ticket provided by the group. Any special meal requested after the guarantee is subject to a late charge.

Menu and Estimated Attendance

Your menu and estimated attendance are due 15 business days before service. If the menu and estimated attendance are not received 15 days prior, the event is subject to cancellation.

Guarantee Count is due six business days before your event. Guarantee counts after we have finalized all the details for your special event, you will receive a confirmation of your order. We ask that you review your order and notify us of any changes to be made. 

After received you will receive an event confirmation. We ask that you review your contract and notify your event coordinator if any changes need to be made. Contact your catering coordinator at least three business days before the event. 

We understand last minute orders arise periodically. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. Because all of our items are made fresh to order, some items may be unavailable. Last-minute orders may entail additional costs for Catering Services.

Late orders may be subject to a 20% or $50.00 minimum surcharge for meals or receptions booked within 5 business days of the event.


All cancellations and final changes must take place at least five business days before your function. If you do not contact us with a final count within five business days, we will prepare the estimated number and charge accordingly. If you cancel or change an event after this deadline, some of the expenses already incurred cannot be absorbed and will have to be billed. 

Food Removal Policy

Due to health regulations, it is the policy of Dining Services that excess food items from events cannot be removed from the event site. Items purchased for pickup should be properly stored before the event and removed and disposed of by the host of the event.

Service Equipment

Any missing or damaged catering equipment or supplies will be charged to your account at a replacement cost. For very large events, specialty equipment may need to be rented at an additional charge. 

Service Fee/Delivery

Catering at Altgeld and BAVC includes a 12% service fee for external customers. Catering reservations made with the HSC Conference and Events Services Office include a 5% service fee for NIU Departments and a 10% service fee for external customers. A delivery fee of $25.00 will be charged for catering events outside of HSC.”

Buffet Food Quantities

Adequate menu items will be provided for all guests to pass through the buffet or food station one time. If multiple proteins, sides or desserts are offered and one selection runs out, but the other selection(s) are available, we are not obligated to make more of the missing item. 

Example: There is a Key lime pie or banana cream pie offered on a buffet and the majority of the first guests through the line all took the Key lime pie, but there is still plenty of banana cream pie for the remaining guests, additional Key lime pie may not be provided.  

Late Arrivals/Extended Meals

Meals are served promptly as scheduled. We allow 1½ hours of service for breakfast and lunch and 2 hours for receptions and dinner. A charge of $100 per hour will be added to your final bill if the meal runs longer. There is a 6-hour limit for receptions. 

Alcohol Policy

As a licensed facility, NIU is subject to all rules and regulations of the State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission. No alcohol other than that provided by NIU Catering may be served within our facilities. Additionally, no alcohol can be removed from the event room or Holmes Student Center facilities.


Table linens are supplied for all food, beverage, and guest tables at events. Linens are not available for delivery/drop-off events. Standard house table linens for non-food tables are provided with catered meals and also available for an additional $6.00 per table, and $25.00 for tablecloth and skirting. Specialty linen is available for an increased charge, please speak with your catering coordinator.

Due to supply chain issues, our menus might change and options may be limited.

For catering pick-up, delivery and events in Holmes Student Center, Peters Campus Life Building, and outdoor locations, contact us at 815-753-1744 or

Event Planners

Holmes Student Center

Reservation and Event Management Office

Peggy Hayes

Shannon Peura

Sheree Carlson

Nick Digiulio


Karina DeGaetano

Theresa Stack

Altgeld Hall

Karina DeGaetano

Theresa Stack



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