Successful Entertaining in Australia

There is no great tradition for business entertaining in Australia and it certainly shouldn’t be viewed as the quick way to cement relationships with a new client or contact.

In fact, you are more likely to be asked out for lunch or dinner once a firm relationship has been established – in this way the meal can in no way be seen to have influenced a business decision.

People will very often ‘go Dutch’ over a meal – this means that the bill is split equally amongst those present at the meal. If you wish to pay, make sure you make this clear before the meal to avoid any embarrassing debates when the bill is presented.

If invited to a pub or bar for a drink, it is very important to make sure you ‘pay your shout’ – that means that everybody is expected to pay for a round of drinks. It is unadvisable to develop a reputation as someone who does not pay for his or her fair share of the drinks!

Tipping is not always necessary but is usually expected at the better restaurants. (If in doubt ask your Australian counterpart what the etiquette is.) Tips are usually for about 10% of the total bill.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Australia

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Australia has been through an unprecedented period of quarter-upon-quarter GDP growth, mainly fuelled by the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and China’s seemingly limitless demand for the natural resources which are abundant in Australia. This export-led growth trajectory has been in efffect for a number of decades and has enabled Australians to enjoy an enviable lifestyle.

The benefits which have accrued from its relationship with China (and other Asian economies) have allowed Australia to develop a sophisticated service sector and at the same time build state-of-the-art infrastructure across the vastness that of a country that is also a continent. However, there is also some fragility inherent in that success – what impact might recession in China have on Australia? Would employment be severely damaged if such a recession were to occur?

If you are considering doing business in Australia – and there are many reasons why you should – you need to do some research on the business culture you are likely to find when you get there. Despite historic links to the UK many observers feel that Australian business culture is more akin to the way things are done in the US. At Global Business Culture we believe that Australia takes after neither the UK nor the US and that it has developed its own distinct and unique approach.

If you arrive in Sydney thinking you can do business in Australia in the same way it is done in any other culture, you are likely to be proved wrong. Australians have a strong sense of self-reliance and their business culture reflects that characteristic.

This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Australian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips