Skip to main content
UC San Diego Catering

Event Planning Tips

Tips and questions to consider when planning your special event.

1. Plan Early

Contact us as soon as possible to ensure availability and allow time to create a well-planned event, especially for conferences or multiple events.

2. Define the Event Objective

We will work with you to define the purpose for your event and what you hope to achieve. Will there be entertainment, speeches or a presentation? If this is a repeat event, what did you / your guests like about the last event, or what would you like to be different? These details can assist in determining timing, staff requirements, menu, style of service, and more.

3. Consider Your Budget

UC San Diego Catering is happy to help you determine the appropriate budget for your event; factors to consider include number of guests, menu, style of service, and amount of staff required.

If you’re paying with department funds, please be aware of entertainment maximums.

4. Quantity of Food and Beverage

UC San Diego Catering can provide ideas on how to maximize your budget while providing plenty of options for your guests.

Example: We’re sometimes asked to provide half and half of two entrée options or two different buffet menus on a self-serve buffet line in order to offer more choices for guests. In our experience, we might recommend different options, as you risk running out of some items before all guests have gone through the line.

5. Pick a Location

How will your location affect food and beverage service? We know the campus, and can advise on the best setup for your event—assessing space constraints, appropriate number of food and beverage tables, guest seating, set up area, rental equipment needs, and more.

If we’re not familiar with your location, we’ll be happy to conduct a site inspection and discuss the options, including the amount of time needed for us to set up for the event.

6. Special Menu Requests

We will work with you to provide appropriate menu choices for dietary requests, allergies, restrictions, and more.

Additional Resources for University Hosted Events:


The IGNITE conference went really well yesterday and I can't express enough my appreciation to you and the catering staff for making this a wonderful event for our guests and volunteers. We received many positive feedback and are looking forward to planning the next conference with you. Many thanks again for your expertise and professionalism and more importantly with your patience in handling a large event for our committee.

Contact Us

When you use UC San Diego Catering, payment is simplified by using department recharge, saving the cost of state sales tax.