Successful Entertaining in Spain


Lunch is the main meal of the day and business discussions and deals are often conducted during working lunches — although business is likely to be discussed during the later stages of any meal. These lunches can often last more than two to three hours and often don't start until 2:00 pm — 2:30 pm. The meals are often quite large with a number of courses and wine being served. Try not to see this as 'wasted' time — it is an essential part of the relationship building process.

Dinner is often a lighter meal, and is usually not begun until around 10: 00 pm which people from many other cultures find extremely late. It is customary for the person who extends the invitation to pay the bill.

Do not be surprised to be taken outside the office to a coffee house during the day. These 'informal' chats over a coffee are one of the best places to build relationships and many of these 'offline' conversations are the most useful for information gathering, testing the water etc.

Almost all eating establishments include a service charge in the bill. However, it is still customary to leave a tip of about five to ten per cent tip in restaurants.

Suggested Reading List...

Doing Business with Spain Paul A Leppert, Roger Bennett and Pablo Villanueva