Business meals form a vital role in the all-important relationship-building cycle in Greece.

These occasions could just as easily take place over lunch or dinner. Lunch often starts as late as 2:00 pm and may continue until 4 or 4:30 pm whilst dinner rarely starts before 8:30 pm and can easily be a two or three-hour affair. Even an invitation for a coffee should be seen as a social occasion and can take one or two hours.

It is better to avoid discussing business over a meal unless your Greek counterpart raises the issue. Business meals should be used to further strengthen personal ties and for showing that you are the right type of people to do business with.

Although your guests may arrive fifteen to thirty minutes late (as would be customary in Greece) you should strive to be punctual – they may make a special effort to be on time in your honour.
Although a service charge is usually included in all restaurant bills, it is still advisable to leave an additional tip of around 10%.

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

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

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 Greece. 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 Greece 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:

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