Business entertaining forms an integral part of business life in Brazil and business meals can be lengthy affairs.
Do not be surprised to spend two hours over lunch and three hours or more over dinner. If you are entertaining business guests, make sure that you do it in style — do not be tempted to cut corners.
Business meals are really about getting to know each other as people so don’t be tempted to try to use the meal as an extension of a meeting. Keep the conversation at the social level and if business is to be discussed, wait until the coffee is served.
Brazilians tend to use their knife to cut up the food and then place it against the plate whilst continuing to eat using only the fork. All food is eaten with a fork — don’t use your fingers as this is considered bad form.
Although most social events will start much later than the official start time, it is good idea to arrive at any business functions on time — you may find that you are the first person there, but then again, you may not.
Most restaurants will automatically add a 10% service charge on to the bill, but it is still a good idea to leave a further tip of between 5 — 10%.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Brazil. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.
With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Brazil and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.
Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics: