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.)


For graduate research clusters: Please note that reimbursements for food and other expenses must go through the GRC leader. We cannot reimburse participants individually for costs related to GRC programming.

If you host an outside caterer, you will need to secure a temporary food permit in advance. Pre-packaged food purchased from grocery stores does not require a food permit; nor does food purchased from UW caterers and service providers such as Bay Laurel, the UW Club, or Pagliacci Pizza. Your GRC may choose to go out after a working session or event. The GRC leader should pay the bill and then submit the receipt through our online form for reimbursement.


Questions? Contact Us



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