Use Sodexo

This section addresses the procedures for catering ordered through Sodexo Services by all faculty, staff and student organizations at George Mason University.

The contractual relationship between George Mason University and Sodexo allows for catering events to be treated as internal functions rather than purchases of services from an external source. Sodexo utilizes an event contract to record the catering order. All orders for Sodexo must be placed utilizing the online ordering system Catertrax.

Required Process

  1. The department will access Catertrax, complete the event requirements and order details.
  2. Sodexo will email an Event Contract to the department
  3. A list of attendees or attached statement that such a list is impractical to provide must be prepared by the department.
  4. The required officials must provide authorization by email. Sodexo will coordinate these email approvals based on the email addresses the department provides in Catertrax.
  5. The signed Event Contract and list of attendees are then emailed to Sodexo by the department
  6. The catering office must receive these required documents three days prior to the event to confirm the contract.
  7. After the event, Sodexo sends all documents to Accounts Payable with the original invoice.
  8. The department receives a courtesy copy of the invoice by fax or email from Accounts Payable.
  9. The department has five days to review the invoice and notify Accounts Payable by fax or email of any discrepancies.
  10. If no discrepancies are noted within five days, Accounts Payable pays the invoice.

Events which Include Alcohol, Flowers, or Amounts Exceeding State Limitations

Commonwealth of Virginia regulations impose certain restrictions on the use of university funds:

  1. Per person amounts for food and beverage expenditures are limited to no more than one-and-a-half times the individual meal components in the travel per diem allowances.
  2. The university is prohibited from paying for alcohol and flowers (except for commencement ceremonies and limited specific Admissions events).
  3. Departments hosting events that include alcohol, flowers (except for commencement ceremonies and limited specific Admissions events), or per person expenditures in excess of the per diem allowance must make arrangements with Sodexo for separate invoices to be sent to sponsors outside the university to pay for these items.

Events Partially Paid for by a Foundation Account

Departments are responsible for obtaining alternative sources of payment for all unallowable expenditures. Often a department will charge these expenditures to their GMU Foundation account.

Required Process:

  1. The department should:
    • Prepare payment arrangements with Sodexo prior to the event to allow the generation of separate invoices for each portion of the bill.
    • Contact the Foundation prior to the event to receive an FO number.
    • The FO number is used as authorization from the Foundation that funds are available.
  2. Sodexo will send the Foundation invoice directly to the department.
  3. The department should prepare a Foundation voucher, attach the Sodexo invoice, and submit the documents to the Foundation for payment.
  4. In the event Accounts Payable receives an invoice with unallowable expenditures, the allowable portion of the invoice will be paid and the department will be notified of the unpaid items balance and directed to arrange an alternative method of payment.
  5. The department must notify the Foundation to receive an FO number and request Sodexo to amend the invoice to include billing for taxes.
  6. The department prepares a Foundation voucher to submit with the amended invoice to the Foundation for payment.

Multiple Food Servings

Departments sometimes make arrangements with Sodexo to cater to a function that includes multiple food servings (e.g., an all-day workshop that includes breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.)

Departments may utilize CaterTrax for the entire function by following the below procedures:

  1. Sodexo creates a separate event contract each time food is served. Sodexo will email the event contracts with the contract numbers and cost for each event associated with the function.
  2. All events will be billed on one invoice.
  3. The department must contact Sodexo to assure that all events will be included on one invoice.
  4. Verify that the dollar amount does not exceed the total per person amount authorized.  This information may be obtained from the event contracts.
  5. Submit final approvals, list of attendees and signed contracts to Sodexo at least three days prior to the events.

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