Successful Entertaining in Finland

Finland:

Business meals are usually held over lunch and it is not considered to be bad manners to discuss business related issues over the meal. Despite the Finnish reputation for hard drinking, it is unusual for alcohol to be taken with lunch

However, dinner is a different matter and, if invited for dinner you can expect alcohol to be served. Finns tend to drink beer and vodka and wine is becoming ever more popular. Over dinner, conversation tends to steer clear of business topics and concentrate more on other issues. Sport and Finland are common topics for discussion.

No section on business entertaining in Finland would be complete without a mention of the Finnish sauna and its role in Finnish life. The sauna is a venerated Finnish tradition. (Business discussions may even be held in a sauna). Business lunch or dinner may be preceded or followed by a sauna. All Finns sauna naked and, although you do not have to sauna naked, it is considered strange not to. Finns insist on punctuality for social occasions.

As a rule, service is included in restaurant bills. Many people add an extra gratuity but this is at your discretion. (10% -15% is a reasonable figure.)
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