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Catering/Food Distribution Permit Application

To apply for a Catering/Food Distribution Permit please complete the this application.  University approval is required prior to any department/student organization utilizing an outside caterer/restaurant/food establishment to provide food for an UMSL on-campus event.

This application should not be used for mobile business units including food and apparel trucks, etc.  

The application should be submitted at least 14 business days prior to the date of your request.  Unfortunately, there is no flexibility available on this timeline due to the length of the process.  

Student Organization Meeting requests should be submitted 3 business days prior to the date of your request.  

In order to provide the best array of food products and services to the campus, the University of Missouri-St. Louis maintains an exclusive contract with a food service provider and a beverage provider chosen through a competitive-bid process.

With few exceptions, the University’s contract gives Sodexo the exclusive right to provide ALL food service on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. Sodexo has a well-trained staff and will work to provide you and your guests the highest level of food selection, service, and satisfaction.

UMSL recognizes that there may be some circumstances when a campus department may need to request that food be provided from another source if Sodexo determines it is unable to provide the service.

Examples of instances in which a Temporary Food Distribution Permit might be granted include:

  • Cultural/ethnic celebrations
  • Office Pot Lucks (attendance limited to members of a single office, event is closed, attendance is usually 15 or less).
  • Closed, internal student organization meetings (limited to once per semester)

Permits will NOT be granted for:

  • Bake sales
  • Any food being sold/resold
  • Food prepared in a location without a county health permit (except carry-ins/pot lucks, see below) 

Cultural/Ethnic Celebrations

  • UMSL recognizes that authentic food is a key component to the success of many of the ethnic/cultural celebrations hosted on campus. The University recognizes the importance of these events as part of creating and promoting a vibrant campus life. Sodexo is prepared to accommodate requests for ethnic and cultural food by utilizing recipes provided by the customer or customizing a special menu for your event. If Sodexo is unable to accommodate the request for authentic food preparation, a student organization or department may apply for a Temporary Food Distribution Permit. 

Office Pot Lucks

  • Office pot lucks do not require a temporary food distribution permit as long as they:
    • Are limited to members of a single office/department
    • Are a closed event
    • Participants are familiar with one another
  • Office pot lucks that do not meet the above criteria should follow the procedures for the Food Permit and, if approved, may require participants to complete a waiver to participate

Recognized Student Organization Meetings

Student organizations may request to have an outside pizza vendor (Dominos, Imo’s, etc.) or store bought desserts (cookies, cupcakes, etc.) to provide food at a closed, internal student organization or committee meeting one time per semester. 

Insurance and health permit will not need to be provided.  The Catering/Food Permit Application will need to be completed and approved. 

The student organization should review the following guidelines set by the University and Food Service Advisory committee:

  • Event must be a closed, internal event (organization or committee).
  • Student organizations should indicate on their space reservation that they plan to have outside food for that event. 
  • Items must be pre-packaged :
    •  Store bought items
    •  Store made items
    • Unopened until event time
  • When outside food is utilized, the organization is responsible for providing all paper goods including plates, bowls, napkins, utensils, serving utensils, etc. 
  • All trash must be disposed of in the trash receptacle.  If additional trash receptacles are needed, it should be requested in advance during the reservation process or post-event from building staff. 
  • If the student organization is seeking to utilize SABC funding, the organization should purchase items with non-SABC funds and seek reimbursement through the standard process.  Sales tax is not able to be reimbursed.  Please work with the Office of Student Involvement in advance for more information about the process required for reimbursement. 

Residential Properties

  • Faculty, staff, students, and guests planning events in a rental space within Residential Life and Housing properties (Oak Hall, Provincial House, and the International House) during which food will be served must contract with Triton Catering/Sodexo to provide the food. If the event falls under one of the provisions outlined above the organizers should follow the procedures for the Temporary Food Distribution Permit. Long term lease properties (Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Zeta, Sigma Pi, and Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Housing) do not require the use of Triton Catering/Sodexo.

Academic Courses

  • Any academic courses that include preparation of food items as part of the academic experience are not required to complete a Catering/Food Distribution Permit Application if the participants are the only individuals consuming the food that they have prepared.

Should an exception be issued for food prepared by an outside entity to be brought to campus, the University does require a copy of the business owner’s current County Health Permit, a certificate of insurance evidencing coverage from a carrier with a minimum A.M. Best rating of A-, VIII including endorsing the Commercial General Liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate as follows:

  • Additional Insured: Curators of the University of Missouri, 316 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211


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