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Step 3: Setting up your catering

What you need to know

Catering on campus is handled directly with the Campus Dining Services. If you would like to place a catering order, please go to: Book It! @ TCNJ

When thinking about the catering needs for your event, it is helpful to keep the following in mind:

  • Will there be any guests with special dietary needs such as Kosher, Gluten Free, and Vegetarian?
  • Remember – Dining Services DOES NOT provide tables for food. You MUST include these tables in your room set up (above). If in doubt, discuss this with the Catering Director.
  • If you wish to have a catering order customized for your event, you must speak directly with the Catering Director.
  • If you have your event agenda, please share this information with Dining Services. This will help them to guide you in making your event successful by coordinating the timing of breaks, the type of food you may wish to serve, etc.

General guideline for ordering tables:

  • Buffets per 15 guests.
  • (i.e. hot meal) 1 six foot table
  • (i.e. sandwich buffet) 3-4 six foot tables
  • (i.e. cookies & punch or coffee & pastries) 1 six foot table per 50 guests.
  • Served Meal – typical seating is 8 persons per round
  • General Guideline for how long does it take to feed a group is as follows:
  • Pre-dinner Cocktail reception:
  • 50 Guests: 10-15 minutes
  • 100 Guests: 15-25 minutes
  • 200 Guests: 20-40 minutes

How long does it take to serve/eat dinner?

  • First Course: 10-15 min
  • Entrée: 30-45 min
  • Dessert: 10-15 min

Things to discuss with the catering director:

  • Standard flowers in a bud vase are provided by campus Dining Services for all served meals in the Brower Student Center and Loser Hall. Did you want any special flower arrangements for your event?
  • Standard linen colors are white, forest green, blue, or gold tablecloths and napkins. Did you want any special linen colors for the tables or the napkins?
  • Is wait staff/service permitted during your program?
  • If you are having the program and lunch/dinner in the same room, will you be able to break to allow catering services to set up?
  • Do you need: table numbers?
  • Do you need reserved table signs?
  • Will you be bringing place cards?
  • Are there any special arrangements you wish to make for your event?

Alcohol at events:

  • Questions to ask yourself:
    • Will you be serving alcohol?
    • What type? (i.e. wine, beer, hard liquor)
    • Who is supplying the alcohol?
    • Are guests paying to attend the event?
    • Will there be underage people (under 21) at the event?
    • What type of bar? (i.e. cash, open)
  • To serve alcohol at an event an alcohol license must be applied for at least 3 weeks prior to your event. Applications are handled directly with the ABC in Trenton, but you may need a diagram from your CSMS Coordinator. You also need to fill out a College Alcohol Permit (CAP).  Downloads: CAP Guide and CAP Form.
  • Bartenders must be hired through Dining Services for all events serving alcohol.


Conference and Events Services
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
1900 Pennington Road
Ewing, NJ 08628

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