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Catering Policies & Guidelines

University Catering Policy

Parkhurst Dining is proud to be the exclusive caterer of Duquesne University. University departments and student organizations are required to coordinate their on-campus catering needs with Parkhurst/Duquesne Catering Services. No outside food or beverages may be brought on the campus without prior written approval of the Catering Office.

Ordering Catering

Parkhurst prepares all of its food fresh, from scratch. In order to plan and schedule properly, CATERING NEEDS MUST BE ORDERED TWO (2) WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR EVENT. During busy times of the year (i.e., graduation, homecoming) and/or for special menu requests, we will need more advance notice. If contact is less than two (2) weeks, every attempt will be made to satisfy your needs for the event, but menu selection or any special requests cannot be guaranteed. If an order is placed three (3) business days or less prior to your event, an additional 10%, with a minimum of $10.00, will be added to the price and menu selections may be limited. Consult with the catering staff about any special needs, allowing adequate time for planning and preparation (e.g., special linens, flowers, room configurations, and the like). The Catering Office is located in Room 318 on the third floor of the Duquesne Union Building and is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Placing a Catering Order on CaterTrax

CaterTrax is the university's convenient online system for placing all catering orders, large or small. Very user-friendly, CaterTrax is used worldwide at some of the top colleges and universities, businesses and industries, and sports and leisure venues. First simply create an account, then place any order up to 18 months in advance. You can track, manage, and repeat orders. Feel free to contact the Catering Office for any assistance with CaterTrax.

Minimum Order

Parkhurst/Duquesne Catering Services is available to service campus catering from the smallest to the largest event. However, a 15-guest minimum for buffets and a 10-guest minimum for all other catering does apply. Service for less than the minimum amount of guests will have a 5% surcharge.

Room/Event Reservations

Room reservations, audio-visual equipment, and table setup needs are handled through the university's Events Office, 412-396-6033. If the event is not affiliated with Duquesne University, please call Conference Services at 412-396-1175. For events in the Power Center Ballroom, please contact the university's Event Coordinator at 412-396-3516. Room reservations need to be made before contacting the Catering Office. Please inform the university's Events Office of any room setup needs such as tables, trash receptacles, and so on. Catering does not provide these items. Please also inform the university's Events Office of any changes in counts, setup, and the like.

Please Be Prepared to Provide the Following Information


  • Theme of or purpose for event
  • Special layout needs (reserved seating, head tables, linen needs)
  • China or disposable table service
  • Special diet considerations, food allergies
  • Seasonal food availability
  • Weather: Is a rain site required?
  • Program details – awards ceremonies, speakers, and so on
  • Will alcohol be served?
  • Any VIP guests?
  • Budget parameters
  • Form of payment (i.e., University account number, direct billing, cash)
  • Style of service (i.e., served, buffet, carry-out, delivery setup)



After the arrangements have been made, either a copy of the Banquet Event Order (BEO) or CaterTrax confirmation will be emailed. Once received, the BEO/CaterTrax is the contract. Please review it carefully and if everything is correct, please email, or call the Catering Office at 412-396-6623, to confirm at least five (5) business days prior to your event. Email approval is allowed for most university events. If the BEO still requires changes, please contact the Catering Office.

Final Guest Count/Changes

When booking the event, the expected guest count should be as accurate as possible.This number should be within 20% of your final guarantee to insure that no unnecessary costs are incurred by Catering. Please call or email the Catering Office with the guaranteed number of guests at least three (3) business days prior to the event. Alterations to the order, including count changes and times, must either be emailed back to, placed with a Change Request on CaterTrax, or called in to us at 412-396-6613. Parkhurst/Duquesne Catering Services will plan, invoice, and purchase food based on this number. Adjusting the number may incur an additional charge if changes are made after the deadline.


In the event of cancellations, notification is required a minimum of three (3) business days prior to the event. Failure to inform our department of cancellation will result in billing for fifty percent (50%) of the function, and for any specialty products ordered for the event.

Room Access

We do not have key access to many rooms or buildings on campus. It is the client's responsibility to make sure that facilities are open at least 30 minutes prior to the order time for efficient setup of the event. An additional service fee may be incurred if Catering Services has to come back or wait for a room or building to be opened.

Special Dietary Restrictions

It is the responsibility of the event host to determine if any special menus are needed for their guests. We are able to accommodate nearly any special meals with advance notice. Specific information regarding the guests' names and dietary requirements must be provided to the Catering Office at least three (3) business days in advance. Last minute orders take time to prepare and the guests may have to wait for the meals or we may not be able to meet the requirements of the guests depending on the requests. If you are unsure of your guests' preferences, we recommend that you order extra meals to accommodate the growing number of vegetarian and gluten-free requests.

Leftover Food & Beverages

State of Pennsylvania regulations do not allow us to release leftover food to you or to your guests. Food items must be properly chilled, stored, heated, and served. When food is not handled correctly, it is very susceptible to foodborne illness. We cannot ensure that proper safety measures are followed after the food leaves the monitored and controlled environment of the event, thus creating a health concern.


Events held within the Duquesne Union Building or Power Center Ballroom will be provided with china unless otherwise designated or at the discretion of the Catering Office. Events held in other areas will be provided with disposable ware unless otherwise requested or at the discretion of the Catering Office. On campus, china and glassware service outside the Duquesne Union Building and Power Center Ballroom will require an additional charge of $1.25 per person. Parkhurst/Duquesne Catering Services embraces a sustainable ideology by offering an array of environmentally friendly service ware. Costs of these product lines fluctuate. Please discuss these products for the event with the Catering Office.

Attendants/Wait Staff

All meal prices include attendants and culinary professionals appropriate for the guest count. If an attendant is requested for an event not requiring normal wait staff service, $20 per hour, per attendant will be charged. Culinary professional fees are $30 per hour. Attendant/culinary fees include setup and cleanup times. Additional charges will be incurred if the event is held off-campus.

Attendants and wait staff at your event will be at the discretion of the Catering Office.Any catered event for more than 25 guests will require wait staff when deemed necessary by the Catering Office.


House linens are included in the price of food events (hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner functions). Continental breakfasts, coffee/afternoon breaks, and cocktail receptions will include linen for the food tables only. House linens are standard white lap-length tablecloths with choice of white, navy, or red cloth napkins. Additional house linens required for extra tables such as registration, vendors, setup, and the like will be charged a nominal fee of $2.59 each. Other sizes and colors of linen may be ordered upon your request and will be charged accordingly (average price is $7.50-$15.00 each). Please call the Catering Office at 412-396-6623 for more information and options.


We reserve the right to adjust or change pricing based on location, seasonal availability, and current market price of products found in this catering guide. Once the contract is signed, the prices are guaranteed. All prices in this guide are based upon service within the Duquesne University campus.

Sales Tax

All university events are tax exempt. For all clients who are not billed through the university, a sales tax will be charged to your event. If you, or your organization, is tax exempt, a copy of your tax exempt certificate will be required prior to your event.

Pick-up Orders

Pick-up location is in the catering kitchen on the second floor of the Duquesne Union Building (double doors under Starbucks® steps). A copy of your Banquet Event Order (BEO) or CaterTrax order MUST be presented to the kitchen staff before they can release your order. All pick-up orders will include a disposable service; china plates are available for a rental fee. The responsibility for the prompt return of any equipment is the client's. There will be additional charges for any equipment that is damaged or not returned to the kitchen within two (2) business days. Please note: the Catering Office loans or rents equipment and supplies only when food is provided by Parkhurst/Duquesne Catering Services.

Delivery Fees


  • Drop-off Delivery Service (disposables, deliver, setup with no return for cleaning by our staff) – $12.00.
  • Drop-off and Return Delivery Service (disposables, deliver, setup, return for cleaning by our staff) – $18.00.
  • Off-Campus Events Special Event Delivery Fee (catering service to facilities outside of the Duquesne University main campus) – $150.00.


Setup will occur at least 30 minutes before the event, as long as proper arrangements have been made. Standard delivery times are from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Any delivery before or after these times will incur an additional charge depending on time, guest count, and location. Persons hosting an unstaffed "drop-off" event will assume responsibility for all catering equipment. Charges for missing equipment will be billed to the sponsoring department or group.

Service Charge for Attendant/Wait Staff Events

There will be an 18% service charge added to the final bill of your event. This service charge will be applied to any event requiring more than basic delivery and setup service. This charge helps cover the costs of the hours needed to prepare and plan each function. It helps offset labor and administration costs, use of our equipment, kitchen essentials and preparation time, liability and workers' compensation insurance fees, various supplies, and other operating expenses. The service charge is not a tip or gratuity for the benefit of employees.

Administrative Fee for Non-Attendant Events (Delivery and Carry-out)

A 4% administrative fee will be added to the final bill of your non-attendant event, such as delivery, and carry-out orders. This charge will be applied to all catering orders not already subject to the full service charge listed above.

Equipment Rental

Parkhurst/Duquesne Catering Services has an excellent inventory of catering equipment and service wares. Should your event require additional equipment or service wares in addition to our on-site inventory, the Catering Office would be happy to handle these arrangements. The cost of these rentals will be added to your final bill.

Department of Health Policy

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (Department of Health) Policy states: “No food prepared in a private home or processed in a place other than a commercial food processing establishment shall be sold or used in the preparation of foods offered for sale, sold or given away.” Only food that is prepared in a licensed food service establishment may be served at catering events. Due to insurance liability, the university must prohibit student organizations from cooking for large groups.

Alcoholic Beverage Policy

Any event where alcohol is to be served must be in full compliance with Duquesne University’s Alcohol Policy. University-funded events must obtain permission from the university's Events Office to have alcoholic beverages served, and must meet specific requirements. A signed Alcohol Permission Form must be on file with Duquesne University Catering Services prior to your event. State law does not permit Duquesne University to provide alcoholic beverages to non-university events. However, non-university events receiving permission to have alcohol are required to use Duquesne University trained bartenders who are TIPS Certified. Non-university events must provide their own alcohol, and it must be removed once the event is over.Cash bars are not permitted.


You have a choice of four (4) types of billing options.

1. You may use your Duquesne University procurement card (P-Card). Place your order by CaterTrax, email, or phone. A receipt and copy of invoice will be sent to the procurement card holder. Your procurement card is easy to use, saves time, and streamlines the process.

2. Provide our Catering Office with a University Budget Number, in which case we will bill according to established university procedure. Please note that the university requires us to have a budget number before providing service. A copy of an invoice for our event will be sent both to the university Event Coordinator and the university business office. The event planning must approve the event invoice and send a copy to the university business office for payment within five (5) business days.

3. You may pay in full by check.

4. You may pay in full by American Express, Visa, or MasterCard. Non-university groups are required to provide a 50% deposit two (2) weeks prior to the event date. The remaining balance will be due at the conclusion of the event based upon the final guaranteed guest count. Additionally, non-university groups are subject to 7% sales tax, unless a tax-exempt certificate has been submitted.