Catering Services

Food on Campus

Standard Terms and Conditions for the provision of Food and Beverages from the Events Department.  

1.  Definitions

In these conditions the following terms have the following meanings.

“Events”             The Events department part of Food on Campus.

“Booking”           A booking made for catering via the internet booking system.

“Price”                The price shown on the booking form.

“Client”               The Person who made the booking or their department.

“24 hours”           One complete working day.

2.  Bookings

We are unable to accept verbal bookings.

Orders will be confirmed within 24 hours by email. Confirmation will include a copy of the booking form and a reference number. If you do not receive confirmation within 24 hours please contact the Events Office on extension 3691 or email as we may not have received your order. Please note that we are only able to process bookings during our office hours 08.30 until 16.00 Monday to Thursday, and 08:30 until 15:30 on Fridays. Your booking should not be considered as confirmed until you receive confirmation from us via e-mail.

We suggest that Clients order deliveries 15 minutes for beverages and 30 minutes for food items, before they are actually required. Please note that on exceptionally busy days deliveries may be made up to 60 minutes prior to your requested time. Please allow for early deliveries when making your room booking. We suggest that Clients ordering on behalf of a third party also provide them with a copy of the confirmed booking sheet.

Bookings and final numbers must be received at least 48 hours in advance. 

Bookings made less than 48 hours in advance excluding weekends, may be accepted at the discretion of the Events Department. This booking will be classed as a late booking and as such, a late fee will be applied. The booking will only be able to be placed by a member of the Events team. We will always attempt to accommodate last minute bookings, but this may result in reduced availability of some menu items and limited delivery slots.

  • For late orders placed less than 48 hours = 10% of total bill
  • For late orders placed less than 24 hours = 20% of total bill

The Events team work from 8:00 until 17.00 Monday to Friday. Before and after this time a staff fee is charged. Evening or weekend events require 10 working days notice. We respectfully reserve the right to refuse any requests that do not reach the Events office within the notice period. Weekend bookings made within 10 working days will be subject to a late fee of 10% and within 5 working days will be subject to a late fee of 20%. It will be at the discretion of the Events team to determine how many staff are required to service an event. A staff fee is charged for all weekend events and will be a minimum of 4 hours.

  • Monday to Friday after 17.00 or before 8:00 £12.50 per full or part hour
  • Saturday £17.50 per full or part hour
  • Sunday £22.50 per full or part hour

For weekday events scheduled during our standard working hours 08:00 until 17:00, whom specifically request an Events team member to service the event; or for bespoke events that require staffing, the rate of £12.50 per staff member per hour is applied. Only full hours will be charged. Staff are scheduled at the discretion of the Events team.

Cancellations can be made by a Client up until 48 hours of the event excluding weekends. After that time the Client must notify a member of the Events team who will make the cancellation manually on the back office system. Please email  quoting the catering booking number. This will be subject to a cancellation charge, which must be approved in writing via email. Alternatively we can deliver to another location, providing written notification is given.

In the event of a full or partial cancellation of a confirmed booking the following cancellation charges will apply:

  • Cancellations made within 48 hours – 50% of expected income
  • Cancellations made within 24 hours – 100% of the expected income

If an event requires a special purchase order for items that we do not normally stock, or it is above our normal stock holding, the full cost of this item will be charged in the case of a cancellation.

Amendments to a booking can be made by the Client up until 48 hours of the event excluding weekends. After that time, the Client must notify a member of the Events team, who will make the amendment manually on the back office system. This will be subject to an amendment fee.

  • Amendments for food made within 48 hours - 10% of the total bill will be charged
  • Amendments for food made within 24 hours - 20% of the total bill will be charged

Prices are correct at the time of going to print. However, some adjustment may be made in the event of seasonal variation or shortage. You will be advised at the time of booking. When a menu has been ordered some time in advance, we hold the right to change the content or exchange items that maybe no longer available. The cost of bespoke menus may also change without notice.

If a Client requires Events to order a special purchase that has a minimum case size, the full case must be purchased regardless of whether the event requires less than the case size. For example, 3 bottles of Champagne are required and the minimum case size is 6 bottles, all 6 will be charged.

3.  Menu Selection

All our menus have been designed to give you a balanced selection. This is based on seasonal availability, ratio of meat, fish and vegetarian, colour, cooking processes and variety of textures. Events only use the freshest ingredients from nominated suppliers. Our menus are set and cannot have items substituted.

Most dietary requirements can be catered for, please state your requirements, including the guest’s name, when placing your order. Due to the necessary strict requirements we cannot provide Kosher food, however we can provide vegan food. We can also provide certain Halal products which are available upon request.

We can provide vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and halal specific food. These can be found on the Diet Specific page, in Events menus on the Catering Services web pages. All dietary meals will be individually served, labelled and set aside from the main delivery.

In line with the new legislation EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation Number 1169/2011, that came into force on 13th December 2014, all food supplied by Events has a food label clearly showing any allergens contained within. There are 14 major allergens that must be declared when used as ingredient. Although every effort is made to ensure the items ‘free from’ status for home produced items, they are produced in a kitchen that uses all allergens.

Whilst every care will be made to produce the exact menu agreed, Events reserve the right to alter a particular ingredient or item on the menu if it is not available, and replace it with a suitable alternative. Every endeavour will be made to inform the client of any changes in advance.

Clients ordering jugs of tap water must note that it is the responsibility of the Client to source the water to fill the jug. Glassware to accompany tap water will incur a charge of £0.05 per glass to cover delivery and clearing.

All prices are exclusive of VAT with the exception of alcohol.

If you need any advice, or would like to discuss your requirements in more detail with a member of the Events team, please do not hesitate to call extension 3691 or email

The Events team at University of Portsmouth uses nominated suppliers for all food products and therefore we cannot accept responsibility for any food items purchased outside and consumed on campus. In accordance with the Food Safety Act, customers are strongly recommended not to undertake the preparation of food themselves. All catering staff are trained and qualified in basic and advanced food hygiene this is part of the University duty of care to both Students and staff. Should all or any part of the function be outsourced the Department cannot be held responsible for any prosecution or breach of Food Safety Act.    

4.  Staffing

Service staff are available and will be charged at £12.50 per hour or part hour per person before 08:00 and from 17.00 Monday to Friday. Weekend service staff are available at £17.50 per full or part hour per person on Saturdays and £22.50 per full or part hour per person on Sundays and will be charged for a minimum of 4 hours.

Staff will automatically be assigned to start at least 30 minutes before the event begins for set up purposes. We strongly recommend that staff are requested for drinks receptions and other events with alcoholic beverages, however for some events, it will be at the discretion of the Events team to determine whether staff are required.

For larger events where additional external staff are required, a charge of £12.50 per full or part hour per person, will be applied and charged for a minimum of 4 hours. For further staffing details please contact a member of the Events team.

5. Deliveries

All buffets are delivered with labels and comment cards. All items will be supplied with the necessary disposable or china crockery, glassware, slip cloths and napkins as standard. Crockery, cups and utensils will be delivered for the quantities booked. For example, a finger buffet ordered for 6 guests will have 6 plates provided, or tea and coffee ordered for 10 guests will have 10 cups provided.

Events will endeavour to make every effort to deliver the goods at the time agreed with the Client. However, due to circumstances beyond the control of Events this may not always be possible; Events will keep the organiser fully informed of any delays should they occur. Equally if there is a room change the Client must notify the events team in writing the day before or as soon as practicably possible.

It is the responsibility of the Client making the booking, to check that the room being used is one in which catering is permitted. Where possible, it is advisable to book a separate room for lunch deliveries to minimise disruption to your meeting. The Client must ensure that a suitable location with access via a lift (where higher or lower than ground level) is selected for the catering ordered.

It is the Client’s responsibility to organise the setting up of tables prior to catering being delivered and to ensure that adequate tables are provided for the size of booking. If further assistance is required for the supply or movement of tables please contact the building caretaker. Our Events staff will layout the catering on the tables provided however Events staff are not able to lay out the catering on computer tables, other tables must be supplied. Events are prohibited to deliver food to a computer / study room due to the expense of accidental damage to computer equipment.

Should there be no access to the allocated room for delivery, the food and or beverages will be returned to the kitchen to be redelivered at a more convenient time. It is the responsibility of the person placing the order to inform us if the meeting cannot be disturbed.

The Events department can supply supplementary items to enhance your event, for example flowers or homemade celebration cakes. We are also able to supply hired equipment such as tables, chairs and table linen. For full details contact a member of the events team.

6.  Service Specifications

6a. Tea and coffee Standards

Our hot beverages are provided on a self-service basis and include the provision of:

  • Insulated flasks of hot water and Fairtrade filter coffee – sufficient hot water and coffee is provided to serve each delegate with at least one cup.
  • A selection of Fairtrade, specialty and fruit tea sachets. These are supplied in a wooden tea box.
  • Milk jiggers / Milk stix / Fresh milk
  • A station or mini box containing, decaffeinated coffee sachets at a ratio of 3 per 20 delegates, instant coffee sachets at a ratio of 3 per 20 delegates, Fairtrade sugar sticks and sweetener sachets.
  • Disposable / china cups and saucers, stirrers / teaspoons & a table bin.

We also offer a selection of cakes, pastries and biscuits as an accompaniment to our tea and coffee.

6b. Food and Beverages Standards – Delivery & Collection

Our delivery coordinator will check your order and set out your refreshments discreetly and with minimum disruption to your meeting. Please alert us to any specific delivery / collection instructions.

 As part of your booking you will be supplied with the following as standard:

  • Disposable or china crockery
  • Paper napkins
  • Slip cloth table covering
  • Cutlery and serving utensils if appropriate
  • Labels for all food items

6c. Drinks Reception

We strongly recommend for drinks receptions serving alcohol that they should be staffed. Service tables will be covered with black and white slip cloths. White, rose and sparkling wine will be provided chilled; red wine will be provided at room temperature, and appropriate glassware will be provided. All unopened bottles of wine or soft drinks are sold on a sale or return basis.

For drinks receptions and VIP events we will require:

  • A full schedule of when drinks / catering is expected, including set up and service times
  • Specific table plan
  • A copy of caretaker communication

7.  Storage

When your food has been delivered we will endeavour to lay the table away from direct sunlight or heat sources, such as radiators and draughts. We will not uncover the food and recommend it is kept covered until it is required to ensure its freshness.

Food deteriorates when left out at room temperature for long periods and this process can be hastened when temperatures are particularly high.

We would insist that no food should be consumed after 3 hours, should you wish to take food back to your office after this time it is done at your own risk.

8.  Collections

We will endeavour to collect all the equipment on the same day or by 09.00 the following day. You will be required to provide a clearing time at the time of booking. Please ensure that all items are ready for collection after your event. If for any reason the location for collection has changed, it is the client’s responsibility to return the equipment to the delivery location, prior to collection.

In line with the University’s policy of separating waste, all leftover food must be disposed of in the food waste bins provided. All disposable waste must be placed in the recycling bins. All returnable equipment must be left for collection by the Events team.

Clients are responsible for any loss or damage to our equipment. A charge will be incurred if items are not available for collection at the end of your event.

 Any missing or broken items will be charged at the following replacement rates:

  • China plate - £1
  • China cup & saucer - £2
  • Glass - £0.50
  • Glass jug - £2.50
  • Flask (variety of sizes) - £10 - £40
  • Table bin - £15
  • Coffee station - £100
  • Tea box (variety of sizes) - £10-£30
  • Biscuit box (variety of sizes) - £10
  • Fruit basket (variety of sizes) - £5 - £10
  • Salad bowls (variety of sizes) - £5 - £20
  • Serving utensils not disposable - £5
  • Cutlery - £1

9.  Quality Assurance

As we continually strive to improve the quality of our service we welcome your feedback. From your comments we will be able to improve our service.

The Events Department has an on line feedback link and deliveries are accompanied by a client comment card. We value our client’s feedback and will always follow up on comments.

Our 10 Point Customer Promise

  1. We will always put the customer first.
  2. We will strive to keep prices down.
  3. We will source the most suitable and ethical products.
  4. We will provide a friendly and helpful service at all times.
  5. We will constantly develop and deliver new and exciting food ideas and innovations.
  6. We will regularly review our opening hours in our busiest units.
  7. We will resolve customers concerns fairly, consistently and promptly.
  8. We will carry out a local price comparison with our competitors and publish it each month.
  9. We will always act with integrity and respect at all times.
  10. We will actively seek customer feedback suggestions on how to improve our service.

 10. Environmentally Aware

The Events Department are fully aware of the environmental issues that we all need to take responsibility for; and wherever possible we want to play a role in helping the environment.

Wherever possible we use local suppliers to reduce our carbon footprint. We also try to arrange deliveries together to minimise our carbon emissions.

The department also has a Sustainable Policy for Catering Services, which can be found on our internal webpage.