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Choose menus that feature plant-based options by default. If you wish to include animal-based foods in your menu, allow guests the choice to opt in to these items. This will support our goal to reduce food-related emissions through the Coolfood Pledge, help lower the cost of your event, and improve health. Additionally, having to request a special meal at an event can be alienating. Plant-based foods are accommodating to many dietary restrictions, which will allow your guests to feel a greater sense of belonging at your event. For more information, visit Greener By Default.


Choose bulk catering over individually-packaged portions. Finger foods and passed hor d'oeuvres can also eliminate the need for utensils.


Take measures to obtain an accurate headcount close to the date of your event. For most events, Kimmel Operations advises departments ordering catering to look at historical data on guest attendance to truly gauge how much to order. If you are asking invitees to RSVP and/or pay to attend the event, you can anticipate a higher turn out and more accurate headcount. Free events without an RSVP yield fewer attendees than anticipated. In general, Kimmel Operations recommends ordering for a maximum of 80% of the anticipated attendees. This will cut food waste and also lower the cost of running your event.

  • If you are hosting your event in the Kimmel Center, your event coordinator will provide further guidance for ordering based on the type of event.
  • If you're worried about running out of food at a Plated catered event, please engage with the Plated team who can guide you on food counts. Plated catering will advise you on the proper ordering of food based on guest counts and attrition.

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If you are coordinating an event outside of the Kimmel Center, consider options for donating leftovers to food insecure individuals in and outside of the NYU community. You can arrange to leave food for students that come through your space or work with any of the organizations listed below. If it is safe to do so, and for orders in the Kimmel/Global Center, Plated catering will donate food leftovers. While Plated catering is protected by the Good Samaritan law after the food leaves a temperature-controlled environment they are using time as the method of control. Plated catering follows the Department of Health's guidelines for all food donations.

Food that has been placed on serving platters that have been offered to guests, has already been returned from service or was displayed for self-service, or has not been served in a method that follows the proper food procedure guidelines per New York City Health Code, cannot be donated.


  1. Share Meals: Through the Share Meals app, you can post about extra food from events with students who are food insecure. It works in real time, based on your location.
  2. Two Birds One Stone: This club delivers hot, edible food that is leftover from NYU dining halls to homeless shelters around NYC. You can also contact them in advance to arrange pickup of leftover food.


  1. City Harvest: You can arrange for unopened foods to be collected and redistributed to those in need.
  2. donateNYC: The food portal is designed for organizations and businesses to post listings of available food and an algorithm rapidly notifies the best-matched and nearest recipient organization that food is available.

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View the Water Bottle Purchasing Policy and FAQs for more information and tips on serving water at events. Plated catering will provide water dispensers free of charge for events that have food associated with the order.



  • Plated offers a sustainable menu, which compiles its best dishes with the smallest environmental impact.
  • Reusable serviceware (chinaware, silverware, and glasses) can be available upon request for events catered by Plated, in the Kimmel Center or Global Center, at no extra charge. Events outside of those buildings will have compostable serviceware.


  • Seamless offers the option to exclude napkins and plastic utensils from your order for participating restaurants. On the checkout page, check the box that says "Spare me the napkins and plasticware. I'm trying to save the earth" nested under “Delivery Instructions.” This lets the restaurant know they can exclude all extraneous packaging from your order.
  • List of local restaurants offering plant-based menu options.

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Screenshot of Seamless's Delivery instructions window. See description of this image in the body of the text under the "Seamless" section