Working With External Companies

Working relationships between clubs and societies and outside business can be a wonderful thing for both parties, but these relationships can quickly turn sour when one party misinterprets or misuses the other party's trust.

Whenever you work with an outside company or business make sure that you draw up a contract between yourselves and them. It does not have to be particularly formal just make sure that everything that you have spoken about in person or on the telephone is included or at least put back into writing in an email.

There are hundreds of examples of student societies hiring bars in town, putting an amount of money behind the bar and at the end of the evening the bar dramatically overspending on the bar tab, leaving the society to fork out a hefty sum.
Bars and Clubs
  • Make sure that you agree everything down to the start and finish of your event.
  • If you are having a bar tab make sure that it is agreed and finalised in writing.
  • If you are expecting any added extras make sure that this is all down in writing and agreed to by both parties.
  • Be realistic with the bar/club about numbers, do not over stretch yourselves.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for extra i.e. guest list, drinks deal, VIP area.
  • Make sure that if you are expecting a lot of people you discuss the security for the event. Do not overcrowd the venue; ticket the event if necessary.
  • Be very careful about paying deposits. Only pay a deposit if you have the money from the members. This will guarantee people will come and not leave your group financially over stretched.
  • If you do run into any problems before, during or after your event, contact your Development Coordinator they will be able to support you and give you advice on how to move forward.
  • Do not be afraid to negotiate with companies.
  • Make sure everything is agreed in writing by both parties
  • Do not be undercut by a company, remember if they are paying you to put their logo on your hoodies they are getting really good advertising. Make sure that you get a good deal with them.
  • But, know when to stop. Equally you are going to benefit from the company giving you money so do not push that relationship too far.
The regulations that apply to selling food in the Union also apply to servicing food at your events.
You are not able to provide foods such as;
  • meats; beef, chicken, lamb, pork etc.
  • Fish; shellfish or other
  • Any kind of rice.
This is because in order to serve such foods you need to have a kitchen that meets health and safety standards (this would require, each individual students that wanted to cook having their kitchen certified.)
You are able to get food from an outside cater as long as the caterer is able to provide the following information:
  • Public Liability exceeding £5 million pounds
  • Risk Assessment
  • Method Statement of how the food will be delivered and kept hot while being served.
  • That the company has a 3 star rating on Scores on the Doors a food hygiene website that lets you know the star rating of the food company. The website is
If you would like to provide food from an outside caterer contact your Development Coordinator
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