Food Service and Alcohol Permits

To ensure food and public safety, the University of Washington regulates how food and liquor can be served on campus.

The Simpson Center allows food and beverages only in our seminar and reception rooms (Communication 202 and 204).

Please identify your interest in serving food or liquor when reserving Simpson Center space.


For funded projects (except graduate research clusters): With sufficient notice—two weeks minimum, two months preferred—we can process the necessary permits for your event.

For graduate research clusters: If you wish to serve alcohol at your event, you must secure permission from the UW and the Washington State Liquor Control Board for your group. Both systems are online. Applicants must fill out the online forms at least 2 weeks in advance.

  • Begin by reviewing UW Alcohol Guidelines and Policies
  • Request UW approval. Choose Monica Cohn, Simpson Center Administrator, as the sponsor when prompted. This request will be routed through the Simpson Center.
  • When you receive UW approval, the approval email will instruct you to:
    • Purchase the state issued Banquet Permit online for $10.
    • Post both the approved UW application and the purchased State Liquor Control Board Banquet Permit in a conspicuous location at the meeting/event. (We use the fridge in the kitchen.)


The Simpson Center can support catered events in Communications 202/204 and for conferences in outside venues, according to your budget provisions, preferences, and our planning needs and staffing availability.

For funded projects (except graduate research clusters): 

  • Primary project liaisons should contact us early regarding catering needs.
  • For all events involving catering and/or alcohol, please provide at least two months planning notice. Please indicate your interest in serving food and alcohol when you reserve space for your event.

For Graduate research clusters:

  • Eating In: Pre-packaged food purchased from groceries such as Trader Joe's or QFC does not require a permit. Nor does food purchased from UW caterers and service providers such as Bay Laurel, the UW Club, or Pagliacci Pizza.
    • If you host an outside caterer, however, you will need to secure a temporary food permit.
    • UW caterers and service providers can also be paid for directly on your Simpson Center budget. Just request an estimate from the service provider, and then contact us for a budget number.
  • Eating Out: Your cluster may choose to go out after a working session or event.
    • If you wish to go to the UW Club, contact the Administrative Coordinator, who will make the reservation on your behalf.
    • If you wish to go out elsewhere, one person should pay or charge the bill and return the receipt with an expense form for reimbursement.
  • Reimbursement for Food and Alcohol Expenses: Please submit original receipts with an expense form.
    • If the person submitting for reimbursement is not the primary project liaison, please have the liaison add a note acknowledging and authorizing the expense.



Questions? Contact Us



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