Bar Service Guidelines

Tufts Catering can help provide beer, wine, and spirits are your event, whether it's a invite-only bar or an open cash bar. There are certain restrictions for bar service, and all alcoholic beverage bars require a Police Detail.

Request a Police Detail

A police detail is required for every even where alcohol is served. You'll need to reach out to Tufts University to schedule the detail.

Police Detail Request Form


All bars are subject the following guidelines:

  • Bar setup and Equipment Charge: $25 per bar
  • Glassware rental charge: $1.50 per person
  • All alcohol service will stop one half hour prior to the official end of the event.
  • Additional Admin charges apply to all bar glassware
  • Number of bartenders is based on guest count and type of alcohol served
  • Minimum bar purchase applies based on guest count
  • Police detail is required

Drink prices

  • Wine: $20–$42 per bottle uncorked
  • Beer: $6–$8 per bottle
  • Spirits: $7 per cocktail
  • Neat, Rocks, Martini, Manhattan: $10 per cocktail    

Bar Purchase Minimums

All bar minimums must be met or the client will pay the difference between the minimum expected revenue and the actual beverage sales—fees, service charge, and the taxes excluded. Non-alcoholic beverages included. Minimum will be based on your attendance guarantee:

  • Up to 15 guests: $75     
  • 16–50 guests: $195
  • 51–75 guests: $245
  • 76–100 guests: $365
  • More than 100 guests: $425

Invite-only Bars

Tufts catering can host an invite-only bar for most events in most locations. Guests will not be charged during the event and no money will be exchanged. The host will be charged based on the alcohol consumed (or the bar purchase minimum).

Cash Bars

Cash bars require special permitting. Guests will pay for their drinks at the bar, and the host will be charged for service/administrative fees. 

Licensed Locations

Tufts catering has a standing license for cash bars at the following locations:

  • Cabot Intercultural Center
  • Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center
  • Mayer Campus Center.

All other locations will require you to apply for a license through the city.

Applying for a License

Cash bars at our non-licensed campus locations, require a special alcoholic beverage license from the city where the event will be held. You will usually need to plan 6–10 weeks in advance. Requests for cash bars for Commencement and Alumni Weekend activities in other campus locations are due by April 1st.

The cities of Medford and Somerville have different processes by which to request a special alcoholic beverage license. Each city has its own monthly commission hearing during which such applications are considered.


  • Commission meets on the third Monday of each month (with some variations in the summer)
  • Must submit license application at least 10 days prior to the commission hearing
  • $360 fee—includes license, inspectional fees, and fire detail for under 300 guests


  • Commission meets on the third Wednesday of each month
  • Must submit license application at least 2 days prior to the commission hearing
  • $75 acquisition fee

All Alcohol bar services require a Tufts University Police Department Officer detail.

Please contact us as far in advance as possible if you are considering having a cash bar in a location other than Cabot Intercultural Center, the Mayer Campus Center, or Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center.