About TU


Food Service Catering Policy

The university provides this information to clarify the University System of Maryland and State of Maryland policy regarding the purchase of food and catering services. This policy defines allowable costs, approval procedures, and the forms required to charge catering and food costs to university accounts. The following material covers Allowability, Payment by Invoice, and VISA Payments to Chartwells. 

Payment Options for Catering:    

Allowability and Approval of Costs

University funds may be used to purchase food services, where necessary and reasonable, for university-hosted meetings, receptions and conferences, as well as meetings of campus-sanctioned (sub) committees. The President's Office provides a list of campus-sanctioned committees to both Financial Services and University Dining Services.

Food Catering costs will not be paid or reimbursed for departmental meetings or social gatherings.  However, a non-sanctioned event may be covered with the pre-approval of the department supervisor and the divisional Vice President (or designee). See the Exception Authorization Form


University Dining Services Contract has a "right of first refusal" clause for providing all food catering service on campus. This means all food or catering services costing more than $100.00 must be provided by University Dining Services. However, Dining Services will issue a written waiver if they are unable to provide the requested service.

Cost of food service provided for conferences, receptions, or meetings must comply with the following guidelines:

  1. Lunch or two breaks allowed for a minimum 4 hour meeting.
  2. One break is allowed for a minimum 2 hour meeting. The allowable cost for one break is half of the USM lunch allowance.
  3. Dinner is allowed for sanctioned or pre-approved meetings that begin or extend beyond 5 p.m.
  4. Breakfast is allowed for sanctioned meetings that begin before 9 a.m.
  5. The cost of alcoholic beverages is not allowable under any circumstances.

Note: Conferences booked at the Marrriott as "packages" are exempt from #1,2,4 since meals, breaks, and meeting rooms are included in the price per person. Food from outside sources may not be brought into the Marriott.

Business meals (meals that are not a part of a conference, meeting, or entertaining of candidates) are allowable only to University Administrators who have prior approval by the President's Office. Cost of meals must not exceed allowances approved under USM Travel Policy.  See Reimbursable Meals .



For assistance, contact the Financial Services Help Line at 410-704-5599 or e-mail ap@towson.edu





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