Your Guide to Uni Catering

As a uni student, I diligently attend the information seminars and careers workshops, expecting to take down lots of notes and walk away with my entire life plan organised and decided. I grace my peers with my attendance at socials hosted by clubs and societies.

Actually, that’s a complete lie. We all know why we attend these events. Food. In particular, free food.

Therefore as an organiser for these events you have immense pressure to attract students. You have the responsibility of convincing students who are not even willing to turn up to lectures that their very presence is going to be worth the free food that you are offering.

But they are not going to be persuaded by candy, greasy slices of pizza or stale sandwiches, so what’s the best way to do it?

Have no fear, because this step by step how-to-guide is here!

  • Firstly, think about the type of event and venue

You should be considerate of what you have planned for the guests and how it is logistically possible for them to eat.

Will you be hosting an information seminar where guests are walking around with a plate in one hand? Or is your venue large enough for your guests to sit down at a table and eat with cutlery?

Also, are there any budget constraints?

  • Who are the eaters? 

You may want to consider the status of your guests and their relationship with each other when making your food choices. For instance, is this event a networking event with potential graduate employers? Then the students who come will probably not want nacho sauce on their only good suit.

On the other hand, if you are hosting a casual get together of mostly friends, then bring on the finger licking chicken wings and chocolate dipping sauce for the churros!

In fact, these types of ‘sharing plates’ are excellent for team building exercises for those welcome events, and businesses do it all the time to build a better work culture.

  • Dietary requirements? What is gluten-free? What diet? 

Also keep in mind that people do have different dietary needs. Gluten-free eaters cannot have foods with wheat and related grains- this rules out bread and everything that is made out of regular flour.

If you are catering for a large number of guests, then it is safer to provide gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan alternatives than let your guests go hungry and unappreciated. If it is a relatively small group, then it may be a good idea to post on a Facebook Events page and ask your guests to contact you privately about their individual requirements, or you can conduct a quick Facebook poll.

QUICK! Look here for a healthy, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dish!

  • How many people? 

The bane of all event organisers is the lack of certainty in numbers!

Order platters and smaller portion sizes that allow your guests to stock up their plates for any left overs. Bagel slices and sharing platters are great options!

The Facebook events page is often an unreliable indicator of expected guests because it is so easy for people to click ‘attending’ and not be obliged to turn up!

A good way would be to asking the guests to formally register their attendance and accept a payment/ticket to attend. Even if it is a free event, you’ve made your guests work for their spot and they will be keen to cash it!

  • On the day

Delivery is a must. Ensure you have someone responsibly for picking up the food delivery and make sure that you are supplied with sufficient serving utensils.

Set up your venue and locate a good position for the food. Avoid the entrances and exits or anywhere that will create bottle necks.

For a fuss-free food delivery with ready to serve utensils, head on over to!


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