According to data collected for M&C's Meetings Market Report, food & beverage is one of the biggest-ticket items, typically eating up a minimum of 25 percent of a meeting's budget. Continuing down the list on how to cut meeting costs from, here are five more tips that focus on F&B Sacramento style:

1.    Piggyback on Another Event
If another group is meeting at the same time and place, find out what they're eating. You may be able to negotiate an F&B discount by asking the chef to make more of what he/she’s already preparing.

2.    Let's Do Lunch
For a group function, consider a major presentation in the middle of the day with a plated lunch, which is usually about half the price per person of a lunch buffet. Dinner is usually twice the cost of lunch.

3.    Night Out Dine Out
Give attendees a free night to dine out on their own. Not only does this eliminate an entire meal from your line item, but it gives your attendees an opportunity to experience their meeting’s destination and taste the local flavors. Sacramento is America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital and home to innovative chefs and farmers who put food on local restaurant tables the same day it is picked. It is a true dining destination, perfect for a night out.

4.     Dessert Centerpieces
To save the cost of a centerpiece, create a dessert display instead—an assortment of fruit tarts, for example. This saves service time since the desserts don't have to be brought out, gives the attendees several options to satisfy their sweet tooth, and saves the cost of a centerpiece.

5.    Single Best Way to Save (Drumroll Please)
“Tell us your budget,” says Vickie Housholder, general manager of Classique Catering.  One of the best ways to ensure quality and low cost is to leave the initial food and beverage planning in the hands of an expert:  the facility’s F&B team.  Give them your budget, be open-minded and allow them to plan accordingly.