Catering Guidelines - Policies and Procedures

The following policies explain the basic guidelines for The Townsend Hotel and will assist you in the planning stages of your event.  Specific details pertaining to menu selections, room and table arrangements, entertainment and other matters will be discussed and established prior to the event.  Every effort will be made by the Staff and Management of The Townsend Hotel to insure a successful event.  Please review the following policies:

Plan your Event

1. Prevailing Laws: The Townsend Hotel strictly adheres to all Federal, State and Local laws with regard to food and beverage purchase and consumption. The Townsend Hotel reserves the right to inspect and regulate all private meetings, banquets and receptions in accordance with Hotel policy and established laws.
2. Food and Beverage: The Townsend Hotel must provide all food and beverage.
3. Advance Payment: For all general events, a deposit equal to 20% of the estimated cost shall be paid to The Townsend Hotel at the time of signing the contract.  We require that 100% of the remaining estimated bill be paid no later than seven (7) working days prior to the function date.  Any remaining balance is due in full at the conclusion of the event.
4. Deposit and Cancellation Policy: Your advance deposit will not be refunded unless another patron re-books the room and date with a comparable function.  In this case, the Hotel will refund the advanced deposit in full.
5. Corporate Credit Application: All credit applications for corporate functions must be received and approved no later than thirty (30) days prior to the function date. Advance payment of fifty percent (50%) of the estimated master account will be due at that time.  Payment will be required upon receipt of billing statement.
6. Service Fees and Sales Tax: A twenty percent (22%) service fee and six percent (6%) sales tax (or current tax rate) applies to all food and beverage orders and also applies to room rental.  A six percent (6%) sales tax (or current tax rate) also applies to all rental charges, including room rental. Groups requesting tax exemption must submit a tax-exempt certificate thirty (30) days prior to the function date, or tax will be applied to the final bill and will not be refunded. (Further information will be supplied to our tax-exempt customers.)
7. Room Rental Charges: All rental charges are subject to the day of the week, month of the year and availability of space.
8. Function Space Guarantee: To confirm function space on a definite basis, the group must provide the Hotel with written authorization on a Townsend Hotel contract or confirmed Banquet Event Order.  The Townsend Hotel reserves the right to release function space that has not been confirmed in writing or for which no deposit has been received.
9. Banquet Set: Confirmation of the number of attendees of any function must be submitted to the Catering Department no later than seventy-two (72) hours prior the function date.  The Hotel will be prepared to serve five percent (5%) in excess of the guarantee.  Should the guarantee exceed five percent (5%) of the original estimated number of attendees, the Hotel reserves the right to make a substitution for the original entrée ordered.  All charges will be based upon the final guarantee, or the actual number of guests served, whichever is larger. If the required final count guarantee is not submitted to the Catering Department, the original attendee figure on the Banquet Event Order will be considered the final count.  Guarantees for events on Monday or Tuesday will be required by 12:00pm on Wednesday of the previous week.
10. Menu Selections: All menu selections shall be considered definite and not subject to change seven (7) working days prior to the function date.  Items listed on our menus are by no means the only items available. Your Townsend Hotel Catering Representative will be most willing to discuss alternate menu selections specially tailored to suit your event.
11. Service Fees: Coatroom service is available at a charge of $2.00 per garment and is based on the final guarantee.  Valet parking is available at the current rate and is based on the final guarantee.  Culinary chefs for food station presentations are available for $100.00 per chef.  Restroom attendants are available for $100.00 for entire events.  Box delivery and storage is available for $2.00 per box.
12. Market Fluctuations: All prices are subject to change due to market fluctuations, unless such prices are confirmed in writing.  Confirmed prices will be quoted no more than one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the scheduled function.
13. Liquor Service: Open Bar: All charges incurred in relation to bar sales will be the responsibility of the group or individual hosting the event.  Hospitality Bar: Guests serve themselves in non-public areas.  Service includes table, glasses, ice and garnishes.  The host will incur a service fee of $100.00. This type of bar is limited to full bottle sales. All liquor returned for credit must have unbroken seals.
14. Packages and Shipping: Due to limited storage space, materials cannot be received at the hotel more than two (2) days prior to the opening meeting/event.  The Townsend Hotel does not at any time guarantee the security of any items left in the function rooms or items stored in the hotel.  Loss or damage to group displays, decorations, or other property brought into the Hotel will be the sole responsibility of the group, with the Hotel assuming no liability.  A package and box menu is provided.
15. Electrical: Electrical requirements for meetings and exhibits must be discussed in advance to ensure that the proper number of outlets and power is provided.  Additional power must be reserved through The Townsend Hotel Chief Engineer.  For display set-ups, arrangements must be made in advance for rental of hotel electrical equipment.
16. Audio-Visual:  All sound, lighting and audio visual equipment provided by the Hotel must be operated by Presentation Services, the Hotel on-property audio-visual supplier.  The Hotel must be notified in advance of any outside company or producer coming on property, and reserve the right to advance approval, restrict or deny.  If an outside vendor is used, The Hotel will provide a minimum of one technician (at $45.00 per hour) to coordinate with the contractor and oversee set-up, operation and breakdown.
17. Telephone: Should your group require a house phone, DID phone, speakerphone or conference call, these needs will be coordinated in advance.  Presentation services will coordinate and pricing is included for your review.
18.  Conduct: The host is responsible for the conduct of all persons in attendance and for any damages incurred upon the Hotel or its guests by individuals associated with or representing the group’s organization.
19.  Act of God: If, for reasons beyond our control, including but not limited to, labor strikes, accidents, government restrictions or regulation on travel, acts of war or acts of God, the Hotel is unable to perform its obligations, then such non-performance is excused with no other liability upon return of deposit. In no event shall The Townsend Hotel be liable for consequential damages for any reason whatsoever.
20. Security: The Hotel requires security personnel for all groups whose size, program or nature indicates such need, at the sole discretion of Hotel Management.  The Security Company hired is at the discretion of the group, and must be a reputable and licensed guard or security agency approved by the Hotel Management.  If the Security Company contracted by the group does not meet the Hotel's requirements, the Hotel at the group's expense shall contract additional security services.
21. Sign Policy: All signs must be professionally printed or painted, and must be approved through the Catering Department.  No pins, tacks or adhesives of any kind are permitted on any Hotel walls or doors.
22. Insurance: All outside vendors are required to send Certificate of Liability Insurance in advance to the Catering Respresentative.

Shipping, Handling of Materials and Storage

If your material is coming from outside the United States, it will have to clear United States Customs.  Customs brokers will be of invaluable assistance in your efforts to get materials into the United States.


In order to avoid confusion or misplaced materials, anything being sent to The Townsend Hotel should be clearly labeled in the following manner:

Name of Meeting/Event
Name of Company
Name of Contact Person
Date(s) of the Meeting/Event
Hotel's Address (C/O your Catering Manager)


Arrangements must be made in advance with your coordinator for access to the receiving area. This will avoid conflict with regular hotel deliveries.  We request that all shipments arrive no more than 48 hours prior to your meeting/event date. Our receiving area is open between 8:00am - 4:00pm Monday through Friday.  It is necessary for meeting/event planners to arrange for unloading, transporting, installing, dismantling or handling of products. The hotel will arrange for labor at an additional charge if so desired.

Due to limited storage space, The Townsend Hotel cannot guarantee the security of any materials shipped in advance.  In the event that you have a large amount of material that must be pre-shipped, we strongly recommend that a moving company with storage facilities be utilized. Arrangements for storage and movement of your packages can be made with them.


Under no circumstances should anything be nailed, screwed or otherwise affixed to the walls or fixtures of the hotel.  In addition, no displays or signage are permitted in the lobby area of the hotel, unless professionally made and approved by the hotel.