As in many relationship-oriented cultures, business entertaining is crucial. A lot of business meetings take place at breakfast meetings and, more commonly, at lunch.

Both Breakfast and lunch meetings can be lengthy, lasting in excess of two hours.

There is no hard and fast rule concerning conversational topics over business meals. Sometimes business issues will be discussed — sometimes they will not. Try not to be the first to raise the topic unless it is essential. Use this time as an opportunity to develop personal relationships – ask them about their family and favourite football (soccer) team.

Meals are often hearty affairs (even breakfast) with large amounts of food being served at each meal. Alcohol will be offered with lunch and dinner but is more often taken at dinner time. Follow the lead of your Mexican host in this matter.

It is usual for the person who issues the invitation to pick up the bill although this rule is sometimes overlooked in a supplier – client situation. If you are the client it is probably best to offer to pay even if you have been invited. Never split the bill as this will be seen as poor protocol.

Tips are not always included in the bill. You should leave a tip of at least 10% which should preferably be given directly to the waiter in cash.

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

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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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 Mexico. 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 Mexico 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