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Overview & Menus

Welcome to Dickinson College Culinary Services and Catering. Our services are available to the entire College and local community. Catering Services welcomes your patronage and wishes to be of service to you. We recommend that you review our Catering Guidelines for helpful information and to ensure a successful event.  College policy on the use of institutional funds for catered functions or the purchase of food requires authorized buyers to use Dickinson's Catering Services department whenever available.


Culinary Services and its Catering Department are here to serve the Dickinson College community.  As resources are periodically unavailable to fulfill orders, we have defined an order of prioritization to guide us when demands exceed capabilities.  The department keeps an updated calendar (below) with scheduled events and unavailable dates and times as a convenience to those wishing to plan events.  Canceling scheduled events to support an event on a different date generally will not open up resources since all resources are tied to specific dates.  Certain late requests may incur significant surcharges to offset overtime costs required to meet a late request if staffing and supplies are available. The best practice for all those charged with planning events is to create and program events as far out as possible.  Sharing with the Catering Department these programs and dates where food, beverage, and/or bar service are needed will be very helpful in securing your priority.  Sharing the scope of events early on can be very helpful: size of event, location of event, and type of catering services that will be needed.  The order of events is generally as follows, IF and WHEN simultaneous or conflicting requests are made:

1. Service of the academic year student meal plan and pre-scheduled summer conference group meal service

2. First-come and first-scheduled campus groups and events on the campus calendar.  Scheduled events are not generally rescheduled to accommodate later requests by higher priority groups, recognizing investments and efforts related to scheduled events

3. President's Office

4. Trustees

5. Admissions Recruiting

6. Advancement Fundraising

7. Student groups and Academic Departments

8. Penn State Dickinson Law School

9. Individual Dickinson community members

10. Non-Dickinson (local community) clients

The Catering Department leverages the use of existing culinary professionals and procurement specialists who serve residential and retail food services in addition to catering events.  Catering employees are comprised of some part-time employees within Culinary Services and casual employees who work solely as caterers as they are available.  We pass the savings of not staffing a fully dedicated catering team and quantity food purchasing discounts on to the Dickinson community.

Recent events in the markets - labor, food, and supply chains - have created resourcing challenges that make it difficult to accept all the requests typically received by our department.  Our team of professionals will make every effort to accommodate all in the Dickinson community: departments, offices, students, faculty, and staff.  Keeping an eye on group priority, criticality to the college, flexibility in dates of service, flexibility in types of service, and volume of campus activities, our team will strive to serve all possible clients as fully as possible.

Our non-Dickinson clients may receive lower priority in scheduling but, once scheduled, we will strive to ensure that approved requests will be supported and served as agreed.  While we can discuss the possibility of distant-future events, we generally cannot commit to an event more than six months in advance due to the need to ensure Dickinson College clients receive adequate opportunities to book their events.  A variety of holidays or notable calendar dates and historical events are not generally open to clients outside of the Dickinson community.  Our team can help you navigate those issues.


Reserving Space

If your event will be held on campus, it is necessary to first reserve a room with the Office of Conferences and Special Events (717-245-1900) - CASE.  It is important to book your event well in advance to guarantee the availability of space and Dining Services.  Room setup requests are handled by CASE.

Please plan for an alternate space if you schedule an event in a building with an elevator or for outdoor events.  If elevator service is unavailable we are unable to provide service due to the risk to our employees. Events canceled due to weather and not planned with a "rain location" cannot be refunded or rescheduled without additional charges.

Please contact Catering Services with questions concerning any of these items. 


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