Hosting, Refreshments, Alcohol

Hosting, Refreshments, Alcohol


Hosting Groups and Guests

Non-Travel Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expenses (UO Fiscal Policy Manual 56-100): An employee may, in the course of employment, serve as a host for non-employee guests of the institution or for a non-employee group, paying for expenses such as meals, refreshments and transportation. Actual meal, refreshment and travel costs will be paid with documented itemized receipts.  Approved UO travel per diem rates will be used to check for the reasonableness standard.  Official guests of the institution might include recruitment candidates, visiting dignitaries, potential donors, prospective students, speakers or guests and must be non-employees. The documentation for such charges must indicate the following:

  • business purpose,
  • name of the authorized departmental person who approved the purchase,
  • list of attendees,
  • date and location.

Receipts must be itemized and gratuities are generally limited to 15%. Alcoholic Beverages are NOT ALLOWED. Use account code 28612, Hosting Groups and Guests or 28613, Public Relations/Fund Raising.   Required form for refreshments/meals served at meetings charged to Sponsored Projects.

Refreshments Served at Employee Meetings

Non-Travel Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expenses (UO Fiscal Policy Manual 56-100) Expenditures for refreshments, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages may be purchased for business, instructional or other appropriate employee meetings and events involving UO employees and student employees. The meeting must last 2 or more hours and be documented with an agenda (See 56-100, Section .200, C).  Providing refreshments for a lengthy staff meeting on an irregular basis, such as once or twice per year may be appropriate. Providing refreshments at a weekly or monthly staff meeting is not normally appropriate. If there are special circumstances, they should be clearly documented. The documentation for such charges must indicate the following:

  • business purpose of the meeting,
  • name of the authorized departmental person who approved the purchase,
  • approximate number of people attending the meeting,
  • date and location of the meeting.

See also Meals Served at Employee Meetings; Catering; and Alcoholic Beverages.  Use account code 28611 Refreshments & Food - Departmental.   Required form for refreshments/meals served at meetings charged to Sponsored Projects.

Meals Served at Employee Meetings

Non-Travel Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expenses (UO Fiscal Policy Manual 56-100) Meal charges may be paid when an employee meeting is called for a specific business purpose.  Attendance must be required and business must be actively conducted during the meal period, as documented in the meeting agenda. The meal takes place in a clear business setting. The meal is usually served at a university location.  Generally, a working meal at a local restaurant would not be appropriate, unless held in a private room. The per person cost should not exceed the current UO travel meal per diem rates.  (The only exception regarding location for an employee meal would be for an off campus working meal scheduled as part of a staff retreat or business training event held away from an employee's normal work location. If the employee is required, as part of a registered training event [to order from a menu], and can control the cost, reimbursment is limited to current travel meal per diem rates).  

Note:  One employee cannot host another employee at a local restaurant unless they are hosting at least one non-employee guest of the UO with a business purpose.  See Hosting Groups and Guests.  

See also Refreshments served at Meetings; Catering and Alcoholic Beverages.  Use account code 28611 Refreshments & Food - Departmental.   Required form for refreshments/meals served at meetings charged to Sponsored Projects.


UO policy statement 04.00.01 University Housing is the authorized caterer for events scheduled in University campus facilities.  Only the Housing Department's Catering Services may provide catering services for events scheduled in University campus facilities. For the purposes of this policy, catering is defined as the provision and service of food and/or beverages to any group or persons meeting anywhere on University property. Delivery to campus of food items to be used for refreshments is considered a service and would be subject to this policy.

Note: A University Catering Waiver form must be sumbitted 15 days prior to the event date for any organization seeking permission to have an outside catering firm cater an event.

Conference and Workshop Expenses

Purchasing and Accounts Payable (UO Fiscal Policy Manual 70.400) Expenditures may be made for housing fees, meals, refreshments during breaks, parties, special trips or tours, and other program expenses for selected self-supporting instructional programs when those expenses are recovered through participant fees. A participant fee may consist of a single, basic fee or fees that are separately identified and collected. Possible account codes 28603 Conference Meals, 28604 Conference Refreshments, 28605 Conference Events, or 28610 Entertainment.

Alcoholic Beverages

Non-Travel Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expenses (UO Fiscal Policy 56-100) See Section .200 Hospitality Allowability.  Generally institution funds may not be expended to purchase alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages may be served at banquets and other special group activities conducted as part of a workshop only if full cost of such beverages is recovered through charges to the participants or sponsoring group. The institution is responsible for compliance with all laws and Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulations, including obtaining a one-day license for servicing beer and wine. The caterer must be approved as a university vendor for insurance purposes and IRS reporting.   Income and costs must be accounted for in the appropriate fund. Use account code 62011 (Resale Items-Alcoholic Beverages).  An appropriate fund would be one that can receive revenue from outside the Oregon University System and may have expenses for hosting groups and guests. Auxiliary Enterprise funds, Institutional Operations funds (income/expense funds) and Agency funds would be appropriate. General Fund indexes would not be appropriate.

Permission to serve alcohol on campus forms (Office of Risk Management Web Site) Request to Serve Alcohol

Overtime meals for classified staff

Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 25, Section 7 (E) The university/college shall provide a meal or reimbursement for each eligible employee who is required to work two (2) or more hours beyond the end of his/her work shift when such additional work causes the employee to miss his/her regular meal. Where the university/college elects to provide reimbursement, the employee will be reimbursed pursuant to the in-state rate established in Article 27, which is appropriate to the time of day the overtime was worked.

Expenditure Guidelines

Expenditure Guidelines (UO Policy 06.00.08)

University of Oregon funds are defined as all funds available to the university received from internal and external sources, including funds held at the University of Oregon Foundation and excluding agency funds. When incurring expenses to be paid from University of Oregon Foundation funds, the University of Oregon Foundation is responsible for ensuring that expenditures of foundation funds do not violate donor intent. University employees must ensure that expenditures are in alignment with the university's priorities, mission, and the guidelines set forth in this policy.

Expenditures must be consistent with applicable policies unless specifically exempted by an external agency, grantee, or donor. Expenditures not otherwise disallowed, may be made within the scope of reasonable financial management, and may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by individuals with appropriate approval authority.

White Stag (Portland) Event Services

For specific catering and event guidelines for Academic Affairs and Event Services at the White Stag Block in Portland, Oregon, please see Event Services.

FAQ's (UO Catering Services)

Below are questions that frequently come up regarding the use of UO Catering Services:

  • Is there a certain minimum number of people in which Catering Services will provide catered food?  If a department is having a business meeting and would like beverages and refreshments, catered (for example) for six employees, would Catering Services cater the refreshments?  Catering does not have minimums for refreshments.  Some of their buffets have a minimum of ten people but those minimums are noted on their menus.
  • Does Catering Services cater for a working meal when a department is in need of (for example) a catered lunch for just four employees?  Catering Services can cater those events as a drop off and return for cleanup.
  • Is there a certain minimum dollar value for catered orders?  At this time, Catering Service has no minimum orders. They will accommodate requests.
  • If a department is having an employee (business) meeting and the department wants to buy (for example) pastries and/or coffee as refreshments from a local vendor for the business meeting, can the department buy the items for the business meeting or must they use Catering Services?  If they do buy pastries and/or coffee from a local vendor, must they fill out the University Catering Waiver form in order to go off campus to buy the food?  If the meeting is for an employee staff meeting a Catering waiver is not required.
  • What about for meals from off campus vendors?  Departments often times will go somewhere off campus and buy food to bring back to serve at an employee lunch meeting for a guest speaker or when interviewing a candidate.  Sometimes departments use such delivery services where the delivery company takes the food order; buys the food from a local vendor; and then delivers the food to the department.  Does the department need to obtain a University Catering Waiver for any of these kinds of meals when purchased from a vendor off campus and brought on campus?  If the meeting is an internal meeting, a University Catering Waiver is not required.  If guests are invited from outside the department, a Catering waiver is required.
  • Is the University Catering Waiver form for outside organizations who want Catering Services for an event scheduled on UO property or is this form required for all UO employee and non-employee events regardless?  The Catering waiver is required by all.
  • Is the Marche Museum Cafe located at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art/JSMA exempt from the Catering Services and UO Catering Policy?  The Marche Museum Café is exempt only for catering at JSMA, but departments will need a University Catering Waiver to have Marche Museum Café food catered anywhere else on campus.
  • Are other food venues located on campus at the EMU such as Falling Sky Brewery, Panda Express, Chipotle, Joe’s Burgers, Subway, Starbucks, etc. exempt from the UO Catering Policy and Catering Services? Can departments have food catered by them?  Food venues at the EMU are required to obtain a University Catering Waiver if catering on campus. 
  • Are student meeting refreshments and meals exempt from the UO Catering Policy and catering Services?  Do departments need to complete a University Catering Waiver form to have pizza or other food venues deliver outside food to campus locations for students?  A University Catering Waiver will need to be completed.