Right of First Refusal

The University of Montana retains the sole right to provide food service or exercise its Right of First Refusal at all University properties. These properties include, but are not limited to the University of Montana Missoula Main Campus, University of Montana Missoula College East and West Campuses, University of Montana Golf Course, and South Campus Housing facilities. University of Montana stakeholders, Campus Dining, area hoteliers, and private caterers, in negotiation through the Missoula Chamber of Commerce, have established a "Right of First Refusal Policy" agreement that states:

“UM Catering will not compete with community businesses for non-University related business off-campus and, in return, community hoteliers, caterers, and restaurateurs will not provide service on University of Montana campus.”  

The requirement that Campus Dining be the sole provider of food not only protects the university financially, but more importantly, assists us in making sure that all food served on campus is served safely. Individuals or groups who ignore this policy may find that campus liability insurance will not cover them if they have not followed the policy. They may find themselves personally liable in the case of an accident or outbreak of foodborne illness.

Organizations or individuals requiring food or beverage service in any facility at the University of Montana may not sell or serve food or beverage that is provided by commercial or domestic sources without approval of the following: UM Catering Manager,  the facility manager, and the director of Campus Dining. In some cases (see below) the organization or individual may be required to get a permit from Missoula City-County Health Department.  

Consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis.  Campus Dining will consider granting a Right of First Refusal only under the following circumstances:

  • The request for Right of First Refusal has been submitted and approved a minimum of ten days in advance of the event
  • The event requires food or beverage service that cannot be reasonably provided by a Campus Dining
  • Campus Dining has been given the opportunity to procure the food service needed from existing University third-party vendors.
  • All food, beverage, and alcohol service must meet all applicable federal and state laws, local health codes, and UM Policies pertaining to the service of food, beverages, or alcohol for public consumption.
  • All food served on campus is subject to health inspection by Missoula City-County Health Department, to ensure compliance with safe food handling procedures. Obtaining required permits from Missoula City-County Health is the sole responsibility of the individual or organization requesting the right of first refusal. Please note that requests for permits often take at least two weeks

Campus Dining will provide a signed Right of First Refusal Form when it exercises its Right of First Refusal. The signed form must be present at the event when it takes place.