Catering and Beverage Service
Event location will affect your catering choices. At many non-Harvard and Radcliffe, and some Harvard and Radcliffe facilities, the class will be required to use a particular caterer. These locations may also require that their bar service be used, although this is usually not true at University locations. For Harvard and Radcliffe facilities, the HAA staff will help the committee contact the appropriate caterers and will recommend caterers where there is a choice if you wish (see Caterers).
If the class is not required to use a particular beverage service, it is usually better financially for the committee to arrange its own bar service separate from the catering arrangements. At most Harvard and Radcliffe locations, the HAA Classes & Reunions office using their student bar crew (not the same as Harvard Student Agencies) can provide this service. Arranging for this service is a simple matter of meeting with the HAA staff about three months prior to the reunion and determining what kind of service is desired at each event: cash or open bar; beer and wine or all alcohol; self serve or with bartenders. The student crew will provide the service and the class will be billed after the reunion for goods and services. The HAA will help by recommending cash bar prices if you decide to go that route. This may help the event break even or generate a modest profit, depending on consumption. A cash bar also means that the non-drinkers are not subsidizing those who do. This student service is easy to arrange and cost efficient, and it is recommended that the student crew be used wherever possible for beverage service. Where the student crew may not be used, the HAA will work with you on negotiating for bar services. One time when the class will have to make its own beverage arrangements is on Commencement Day at the Class Headquarters suite in the Yard.