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"Brown First" is a University-wide initiative that began in July 2002. Under this policy, Brown Dining has the first opportunity to provide food and catering services to the Brown community. As Brown Dining and other auxiliary departments must contribute a significant portion of their annual earnings to the University's operating budget, this policy enables the University to retain funds that had previously been spent with external vendors.

Brown First: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does this policy mean?
  2. What services are available through Brown Dining?
  3. How do I place an order for food from Brown Dining?
  4. What methods of payments can I use?
  5. How will Brown Dining deal with my order if they cannot fulfill it?
  6. Who are the qualified vendors?
  7. Can I request a non-approved vendor?
  8. Can I continue to use my Brown Visa (purchasing card) to purchase grocery items?
  9. Can I dine in an off-campus restaurant for Brown-related business?
  10. How can I get pizza?
  11. Can I get my order delivered?
  12. Can I include a tip?
  13. How can I order a BBQ Kit for use at the Haffenreffer Museum?
  14. How do external vendors handle special dietary needs?

What does this policy mean?

All food and beverage purchases must be coordinated by Brown Dining and, if possible, serviced by their University restaurants or catering division.

What services are available through Brown Dining?

Brown Dining offers a wide variety of options, including full-service Catering, Express Delivery for small events, and also Gate Express for pizza. The full range of services is described on the Food for Your Event page.

How do I place an order for food from Brown Dining?

Order forms are available on the Food for Your Event page.

What methods of payments can I use?

Varies by menu. See the Food for Your Event page.

How will Brown Dining deal with my order if they cannot fulfill it?

Brown Dining will issue approval codes and direct customers to a qualified external vendor. Brown Dining will oversee the process from beginning to end, including initiating purchase orders, monitoring quality and service, and handling all billing functions.

Who are the qualified vendors?

Vendor Address Phone
B & M Clambake 560 York Ave. / Pawt. 723-4180
Bagel Gourmet 250 Brook St. / Prov. 453-5560
Bagel Gourmet 222 Richmond St. / Prov. 454-8800
Ben & Jerry's 224 Thayer St. / Prov. 421-1114
Butcher Shop Cafe 157 Elmgrove Ave. / Prov. 861-4627
Café la France 121 S. Main St. / Prov. 274-0603
Del's Lemonade 400 Waterman Ave. / E. Prov. 434-8024
Divine Providence Kosher Catering for orders, contact Daren 808-2016
Domino's Pizza 845 North Main St. / Prov. 861-1200
Eastside Marketplace
* for groceries and "do it yourself" BBQ Kits ONLY
165 Pitman St. / Prov. 831-7771
Gate Express Pizza 194 Meeting St. / Prov. ORDER ONLINE
863-3023
Fireworks Catering 840 Allens Ave. / Prov. 831-9221
Kabob N Curry 261 Thayer St. / Prov. ORDER ONLINE
273-8844
McGrath Clambakes 64 Halsey St., #5 / Newport 847-7743
Mexico Restaurant 948 Atwells Ave. / Prov. 331-4985
Morins - Fine Catering 95 Frank Mossberg Dr. / Attleboro 888-552-7822
New England Lemonade & Refreshments 280 Douglas Ave / Prov. 274-3255
Olga's Cup & Saucer 103 Point St. / Prov. 831-6666
Pizza Gourmet 357 Hope St. / Prov. ORDER ONLINE
751-0355
Pizza Pie-er 374 Wickenden St. / Prov. 351-3663
Pranzi Catering and Café 996 Chalkstone Ave. / Prov. 383-3631
Rue Bis 16 Basset St. / Prov. 490-9966
Rue De L’Espoir 99 Hope St. / Prov. 751-8890
Baker Street Rue 75 Baker St. / Prov. 490-5025
Shanghai Restaurant 272 Thayer St. / Prov. 331-0077
Taste of India 230 Wickenden St. / Prov. 421-4355
954-0940
Tina's Jamaican Caribbean Restaurant 223 Atwells Ave. / Prov. 490-4625
Tokyo 388 Wickenden St. / Prov. 331-5330

Can I request a non-approved vendor?

As directed by the University, Brown Dining streamlined the number of approved vendors to a manageable number. Vendors were selected based on past performance (as determined by consultation with customers), service offerings, and other University-established criteria. These include liability insurance requirements, current RI Dept. of Health food licensing status, and Manager Certification in Food Safety. Suggestions for revisions of the University-approved vendor list will be taken into consideration in an annual review process.

Can I continue to use my Brown Visa (purchasing card) to purchase grocery items?

Yes, that category currently does not fall under the "Brown First" policy. However, this will be reviewed periodically and may change.

Can I dine in an off-campus restaurant for Brown-related business?

The Brown First policy does not apply to this type of expenditure. Reimbursement is through the controller's office, as it always was. For more information, refer to the revised Business Meals & Hospitality Policy, available at the Controller’s Office website.

How can I get pizza?

Complete a Gate Express order form online. For information or assistance, please call the Gate directly at x3-3040.

If you would like to use one of the three approved external vendors – Pizza Pie-er, Pizza Gourmet or Domino's – the process is as easy as 1-2-3:
  1. Record the details of each order onto an IPR, and fax the IPR to the Catering Office at x3-9566. (Always call to confirm receipt of your fax.)
  2. When the IPR has been received, the Catering Office will provide you with a vendor-specific authorization number (i.e. Ron – 0001).
  3. Once you have an authorization number, call and place your order directly. You will have to provide the vendor both the authorization number and your IPR #. The vendor will bill Brown Dining, who will in turn, invoice you.
Note: If you need a last-minute order of pizza and it is too late to get an authorization number, you may use your own funds to buy pizza off campus or purchase pizza from Gate Express. You will not get reimbursed for an off campus purchase without an authorization number.

Can I get my order delivered?

Express Delivery and Gate Express are available to on-campus locations only. If you are unsure, inquire when you place your order.

Can I include a tip?

A reasonable tip can be included, except for pizza orders on which tip is already included.

How can I order a BBQ Kit for use at the Haffenreffer Museum?

Brown Dining, in coordination with Eastside Marketplace, now offers a "Do It Yourself" BBQ Kit to help make your Haffenreffer outing even easier! The BBQ Kit offers food for 10 at a very affordable price.
This kit can only be used for the Haffenreffer property. An IPR should be faxed to the catering office in order to obtain an approval code. Once an approval code is given, an order may be placed at Eastside Marketplace. (Student groups should go to the Student Activities Office to obtain an IPR.)
Eastside Marketplace
What's in the BBQ Kit for 10?

    • 15 burgers – fresh angus patties
    • 10 hot dogs – Boars Head hot dogs
    • 4 veggie burgers
    • 24 hamburger rolls
    • 12 hotdog rolls
    • 1 large bag chips
    • 2lb pasta salad
    • 15 large cookies
    • 12-pk soda
    • 12-pk bottled water
    • 15 section plates
    • 15 pick packs with utensils, napkin and salt & pepper
    • 15 paper napkins
    • 1 garbage bag
    • 1 foam cooler w/handle
The BBQ Kit costs $87.50 and must be pre-ordered. Orders for the BBQ Kits will be taken Monday thru Friday between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm and will be ready the following day. Orders can be emailed to esidemkt@aol.com, faxed to (401) 831-7815, or called in to the delivery service at (401) 831-7771. BBQ Kits are available for pick up but can also be delivered for a $8.50 fee within 2 miles of the store. Contact the University Scheduling Office for information about reserving the Haffenreffer property.

How do external vendors handle special dietary needs?

Through its normal business process, Brown Dining Services may approve orders through an external vendor (see list of qualified vendors) Brown Catering’s food allergy procedures do not carry over to another vendor’s services, and Brown Catering does not assume responsibility for another vendor’s product or service. In the case of a guest with a food allergy, intolerance or other medically restricted diet, we suggest you contact the vendor directly to answer your questions or concerns. The following guidelines may help to ensure the safety of you or your guests when working with an outside vendor.
  1. Reach out to the Manager or point person for the respective restaurant or catering service to get a sense of their menu offerings, how they label menu items and how they handle special dietary requests.
  2. Speak with the Manager about placing orders for guests with special dietary needs and to what level they are able to accommodate.
  3. If they are able to accommodate, feel free to ask how a specially prepared meal flows through the operation and arrives to the guest. Know your responsibility as a guest when items are being served. For example, informing the server of your needs.
  4. Inquire as to whether the restaurant has a food allergen management plan in place and if the chefs are specially trained to modify meals to be free of particular allergens?
  5. A restaurant should be able to supply, upon request, a list of ingredients for a menu item. It’s possible that if a meal is prepared off-site, ingredient information is not available.
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