Staff Catering Guidelines


HBS does not pay for meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) when the only recipients are HBS employees. This includes meals catered by Restaurant Associates, or any other food service vendors or restaurants. The policy applies whether the employee expects the food to be paid by invoice, voucher, or through reimbursement.

Allowable Usage

It may be appropriate for a department to provide lunch on occasion for an All-Staff meeting. In this circumstance, the lunch should be charged to the department's Morale Fund. Morale Fund expenses must be pre-approved by the department Business Manager.

There may be occasional scenarios where it makes sense for HBS to pay for a meal for HBS INTERNAL employees only, particularly when cross-departmental collaboration and networking opportunities are involved. This usage must always be approved by the Department Head (AOM) or Business Manager.

HBS may also pay for a meal when there is a business meeting with EXTERNAL guests. In some cases, the School pays for the food and beverages for both the guests(s) and the employee(s). External guests include visitors from another school, central administration, or non-Harvard staff (see discussion of external guest populations below). Travel and expense policy must be followed.

  • Visitors from another school/central administration:
    It may be appropriate for HBS to pay for food for business meetings held during regular mealtimes (e.g., 11:00am - 1:00pm). Approval in advance by the department Business Manager is required.

  • Non-Harvard staff:
    HBS will cover any meals, even outside of regular mealtimes, that are provided for non-Harvard staff, when there is a significant incentive to strengthen the relationship between HBS and the guest (e.g., prospective donors, alumni). Again, the travel and expense policy must be followed.

Disallowed Usage

Lunch meetings with internal HBS employees only. If there is a lunch meeting with internal HBS employees, then it may be helpful to allow time for the meeting participants to buy lunch in advance or to suggest that participants plan to bring their lunches.

Process for Ordering Campus Catering

Restaurant Associates (RA) is available to assist with your various catering needs. All orders must be placed through the Spoonfed online Catering System, and require a departmental 33-digit billing code at the time the order is placed. Please note that a member of the Catering team is happy to work with you in identifying lower cost alternatives for your meeting or event. For more information about how to order catering, the ordering process, menus, pricing, and general catering questions, please visit the Campus Catering & Dining website.