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Policies and Procedures


Standard Hours of Operation & Advanced Notice

Our experienced team are on hand to help meet the catering and event needs of your next occasion. For a smooth process, we recommend booking your event and reserving your meeting space as early as possible. Orders and inquiries catered events may be placed by contacting the Sales Office email or by calling 209-228-3427. If you already have an account on CaterTrax, please submit catering requests using the CaterTrax system.  

UC Merced’s Lakeside Catering Sales is open Monday through Friday from 6am-2:30pm. We are closed on university holidays.

Conference & Event Services office is open Monday through Friday from 8am-4:30pm. We are closed on university holidays.

Lakeside Catering’s normal delivery and pickup hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 7:00am - 7:00pm.  We are closed on university holidays. Please contact the Sales office at Sales Office email or 209-228-3427 for special deliveries and events outside our normal hours of operation.


Advance Notice - Catering

It is best to provide as much advance notice as possible.

We require a minimum notice of five (5) business days for any delivery orders and events requiring attendants.  Special events requiring custom menus, or have guests over 100, require a ten (10) notice. We will make every effort to accommodate your catering requests.


Advance Notice - Room Reservations

We accept requests NO MORE THAN SIX (6) MONTHS OUT for the California Room, Crescent Arch Room and the Blue & Gold Conference Room in Housing. We have three private dining rooms available. Elizabeth’s Garden in the Yablokoff/Wallace Dining Center and the two private dining rooms, Pavilion 104 and Pavilion 105, in the new dining Pavilion. Reservations in the private dining rooms require food and beverage service from Lakeside Catering or through dining in the Pavilion and the Yablokoff/Wallace Dining Center.


Please include the following information in your email request:

Date or Dates requested:

Event Name:

Room or Rooms (include any alternates)

Event Start Time:

Event End Time:

Number of Guests and Preferred Room Setup

Will you have catering?

We strive to respond to your requests within 48 business hours.  Providing alternatives to dates, space and time will allow us to find the right venue for your event in a timely manner.


Meeting Room Rates

Meeting room fees apply for groups using the California, Crescent Arch, Blue, and Gold meeting rooms. Please refer to our meeting room rate sheet. Groups requesting Elizabeth’s Garden, Pavilion 104 and Pavilion 105 are required to have catering or dining meals accompany the meeting in lieu of meeting room fees.


Meeting Room Reservations

Once a room reservation is placed with us and confirmed, you will receive a confirmation email outlining the details of your reservation.  Two weeks prior to your event, we will confirm all details and submit an event order for the client’s approval. The billing information for university clients will be requested along with the approver’s contact information.  The event order will be sent to the client for final confirmation on all event details and billing information. Clients not using a university recharge are required to pay the full balance seven (7) business days prior to their event.


Once a catering order is placed through the CaterTrax system, the client will receive a confirmation e-mail outlining all the details of your order. University clients using a recharge account will be automatically billed after the conclusion of the event. Clients not using a university recharge account are required to pay the full balance seven (7) business days prior to their event. Credit card payment is preferable and we will send you a link to pay online. Checks must be paid directly to the cashier’s office and made payable to: UC Regents.



Due to the demands of Lakeside Catering Services, it is necessary to meet the indicated minimum for guaranteed deliveries.  Delivery status may be changed to Pick Up in Main Dining-customers will be notified in this event. Delivered orders that do not meet the minimum requirements will be subject to a $25.00 or 25% of total order service charge, whichever is greater.  

Served Events - minimum 6 people

Weekend Minimums - $500 food and/or beverage minimum with a two-week advance notice and confirmation.



Please note that a Final Guarantee of Attendance is required five (5) business days prior to the event date and/or three (3) business days prior to your delivery date. If a final guarantee is not received within this time period, we will use the guarantee provided in CaterTrax. Please note that this number will be considered a guarantee and not subject to reduction. Any increases to your guarantee are subject to approval based on the stated deadlines above.


All catered events and meeting room reservations are subject to the policies, procedures, and guidelines set by UC Merced Conference & Event Services and Lakeside Catering.  


Catering must be notified in writing of any menu item cancellations in order to avoid cancellation charges. Events cancelled will be subject to the following charge:

Five (5) business days prior to event date — 25% of total Food & Beverage Revenue

Three (3) business days prior to event date: — 50% of total Food & Beverage Revenue

Less than three (3) business days prior to event date — 100% of total Food & Beverage Revenue


Meeting Room Reservations

UC Merced Conference & Event Services must be notified in writing ten (10) business days prior to the meeting date of any meeting room cancellations in order to avoid meeting room cancellation charges.  Meeting rooms reservations canceled more than ten (10) business days prior to your event will not incur a cancellation charge. Reservations cancelled less than ten (10) business days prior to arrival are subject to the following cancellation charges.


Less than:                                                           Cancellation Charges:

10   days prior to arrival                                     25%   of Meeting Room Rental

5     days prior to arrival                                     50%   of Meeting Room Rental

Less than five (5) days prior to arrival            100%  of Meeting Room Rental



Table and chair rentals for events not being held in a meeting or dining space within the UC Merced Dining and Housing (California, Crescent Arch, Alpine, Blue & Gold, Elizabeth’s Garden, Pavilion Private Dining rooms) are available through UC Merced Facilities along with waste and recycling receptacles for outside events. You may submit a facilities request here.  We ask that all tables and chairs be set up prior to the scheduled arrival of our catering staff. Additional charges may be applied if any assistance with setup, such as moving furniture, is required.

To ensure a successful delivery, we ask that you provide building access and/or an unlocked delivery location at least 30 minutes prior to the event start time, as shown on the banquet event order. Adequate loading and parking arrangements must be confirmed prior to delivery. If there is no parking available, clients will be charged an attendant fee to stay with the vehicle.

Please note that Lakeside Catering does not provide tables for deliveries. Clients are asked to arrange for table setup or adequate counter space to be made available 30 minutes prior to the event start time. In an effort to be sustainable, table linens are not included with standard delivery orders. For your convenience, we offer rentable linens at a cost of $5.00 per standard table cover. China service is not available on deliveries.

We ask that our clients ensure the safeguarding of all Lakeside Catering property and equipment dropped off at the event/delivery site. Any lost, stolen, or damaged equipment is subject to additional fees (no more than replacement value) and will be charged to the client’s master bill.

In compliance with health code regulations, perishable food items can only be presented for a maximum of two hours. Due to inventory controls, Lakeside Catering’s equipment must be picked up within a four-hour period. It is our policy to pick up any equipment on loan within a one-hour window following the event end time, as indicated on the banquet event order.

Please also make note of the following terms and conditions:

Lakeside Catering is not responsible for any clean-up after an event. We will only pick up the equipment on loan.

For any deliveries to outdoor or public areas, please ensure that the client or a department representative be present to receive the delivery and provide supervision prior to and during the event.

A $25 Long-Haul Fee will be assessed for any delivery without loading, parking, or elevator accessibility.

For any large delivery set-ups, additional Delivery Assistants may be required as determined by your Sales Manager at a flat rate of $15 per assistant.



In an effort to maintain the highest standards for quality and to comply with EH&S, state and local health regulations, perishable food (s) may not be removed from an event. Lakeside Catering is the exclusive provider of food and beverage for the California, Crescent Arch, Alpine, Blue & Gold meeting rooms along with the private dining rooms in the Yablokoff/Wallace and Pavilion dining centers.

No outside catering will be permitted in the meeting rooms, but groups may request to bring in their own food.  All requests must be approved by the Catering Sales office and a signed food waiver of liability form must be signed and on file prior to the event. Groups who bring in their own food and beverage, must handle their own trash and return the room in the same condition prior to the start of their event.



If you plan to serve alcoholic beverages at an event, please note the following terms and conditions:

  • Lakeside Catering holds the proper licensing to serve beer and wine at your event on Campus. An alcohol permit is required for any type of alcohol service. Clients must obtain the alcohol permit which can be found on the Risk Services website.  You can find all requirements and forms on the Risk Services website.
  • Clients must purchase and deliver their beer and/or wine to Lakeside Catering no more than two (2) days prior to their event. Lakeside Catering will receive the client’s alcohol, store and chill it prior to the event.  Bar Service, from Lakeside Catering, is required along with the permit for all alcohol served on campus or at any UC sponsored event.
  • All bars are to be closed at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the end of the event.
  • Leftover alcohol from your event must be removed from the event and stored by Lakeside Catering. Please make arrangements to pick up your leftover alcohol from the Dining Center within 48 hours of your event. Any alcohol left 48 hours after the event; will be properly discarded.  All open bottles will be discarded at the end of the event.
  • We require that all beverages be dispensed by one of our trained servers and/or Beverage Attendants.
  • We will request proper identification from any person of questionable age and refuse alcoholic beverage service to minors, or those who cannot provide valid proof that they are of legal drinking age (21 years or older).
  • We reserve the right to refuse alcoholic beverage service to any person, who, in Lakeside Catering’s judgment, appears intoxicated.
  • If you would like a full bar set up, either cash or hosted, we can direct you to an off-campus vendor. Please ask your Sales and Event Manager for details.


Audio-visual Equipment

The Conference team will be in communication with you to detail your event so that the room is set up for your needs.

The Conference team will walk through with you to avoid unexpected damages, sign out any approved equipment, and provide access to the space.

Conference and Event Services maintains a limited in-house inventory of audio-visual equipment. A/V equipment and support must be ordered no less than five (5) business days prior to your event. Clients are encouraged to bring their own adapters since we have a very limited supply.  Groups may bring their own A/V equipment; however, it is the group’s sole responsibility and subject to daily set-up charges. Please note that Conference and Event Services is not liable for any theft or malfunctioning of outside A/V equipment brought in for an event.



Non-UC Merced clients must submit a Certificate of Insurance or a letter of self-insurance to Conference and Event services at least ten (10) business days prior to your event.

The insurance coverage must indicate:

  • The Regents of the University of California specifically named as additionally insured
  • Policy dates covering the period of your event
  • Minimum coverage as specified in your event confirmation.
  • If your event includes service of alcoholic beverages, your Event Sales Manager will work with you to determine if any additional insurance coverage is needed for your event.


Event Storage and Material Handling

If your event requires the storage and handling of materials, please be sure to notify the  Conference & Event Services office one month in advance of your event date. Please have pertinent information ready such as delivery and setup schedule, shipping and receiving needs, and quantity of boxes expected to be received by Conference & Event Services.

Due to limited storage space, boxes must be delivered no earlier than 72 hours prior to your event date. All received boxes must be sent to the attention of Debbie Henderson, with the event name and event date referenced on each box. There is a $5 per box handling fee for any boxes received at our facility. Client is responsible for removing all packages and materials from the venue at the close of the event. A clean-up fee may be applicable if items are left behind.

Signage, Displays & Damages

Pre-approved signage is permitted in registration areas and immediately outside function rooms. Any additional locations must be approved in advance by the Conference & Event services office. We request that all signage, displays, and/or exhibit setups are of professional nature and quality, and that they conform to Merced County Fire Code regulations.

In order to safeguard university property, Conference & Event services prohibits the use of nails, staples, push pins, and/or tape to adhere any type of signage or displays to walls, furniture, or any part of our facilities. In the event these items are used without prior authorization and damage to university property is caused as a result, all repair, clean-up, and/or replacement costs will be charged to the client’s master bill. Please speak with a conference team member who can facilitate the rental of easels to display your signage.

Please note that Conference & Event Services is not responsible for the retention or removal of any signs, banners, and/or decorations. In addition, we are not liable for the security of our clients’ audiovisual equipment, whether owned or rented, or any other special equipment used during the event.