First Step

Reserve a space for your event. You will likely be asked to provide the following information: Name of group, date of the event, time, approximate number of guests and type of event. A room must be reserved before initiating a catering request for an on-campus function.

Second Step

Plan the specifics of your event by contacting our Catering Director to assist you with menu and set-up Unknown keyword: AMP1 202-885-3177. You may also visit our office in the Mary Graydon Center.

Guidelines for planning your event

Orders for refreshment breaks should be placed a minimum of 3 full business days prior to the event. Requests for meals and receptions should be placed a minimum of 14 full business days in advance of the event, and the events should be finalized no less than 7 full business days in advance of the event. Events scheduled less than 3 business days in advance may be assessed an additional fee and must be sent through the kitchen. All events with china and glassware service require wait staff, please allow 2-hours are required for set-up and 1-hour for cleaning.

Disposable orders will be dropped off only. If a return pick-up is requested there is a $30.00 charge.

Guaranteed guest counts

A confirmed number of guests must be specified 3 full business days prior to the event. This number is considered the guaranteed guest count. There is a 5% variance allowance on your guest count. For example, a guest count of 100 has an overage allowance of 5 guests. If the actual number of guests exceeds allowed variance, every effort will be made to accommodate the additional guests (a substitute may be required).


If notice of cancellation is received 3 full business day in advance of the event, you will only be charged any expenses incurred. If notice is received less than 3 full business days in advance of the event you will be charged the full amount.

Minimum orders

Group events requesting served meals outside of the American University main campus must have a minimum number of 15 guests. For buffet service a minimum of 20 guests is required.

Safe food handling

Safe food handling is a high priority for American University Dining Services. Therefore, we reserve the right to limit the removal of leftover food by the customer to items that are available for carry out. For your safety, and that of your guests, a catering representative will remove food from your event in a timely manner. Due to liability concerns, we will not provide services at an event where outside food and beverages are present.


Prior to the event we require an alcohol approval form. A bartender is required for all events serving alcohol. American University Dining Services cannot provide service staff for any event serving food or beverages which we do not provide.


At American University, individuals are required to use their P-card for any catering events under $1,000.00. All functions to be paid from University accounts that are more than $1,000.00 must supply an organization budget code number at the time the order is placed. All organizations that are tax-exempt must present their certificate at the time the order is placed. Payment for non-university sponsored functions is due immediately upon receipt of invoice. State and local sales tax will be added to invoices of individuals or groups not exempt from such taxes.


American University Dining Services nor American University is liable for any equipment, supplies or personal belongings left in public function areas.

American University Dining Services
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016