Successful Entertaining in the Philippines

As in all relationship-oriented business cultures, business entertaining is extremely important and all possible opportunities should be taken.

As much progress can be achieved over a meal as in a more formal meeting situation. Business lunches and dinners are usually arranged personally over the phone and confirmed by a secretary. The person who invites customarily pays.

It is quite common to have a drink before sitting at a dining table. An informal atmosphere is aimed for in which everybody can relax and, therefore, business is not usually discussed until everybody is relaxed.

Dress code can vary enormously depending on the venue and it is definitely best to check in advance.

A fork and spoon are the standard utensils in most traditional Filipino restaurants. Keep the fork in your left hand and use it for placing food onto the spoon, which should be held in your right hand.

A service charge is almost always added to a restaurant bill. However, tipping is expected throughout the Philippines and it is customary to leave a small tip somewhere in the region of 5% – 15% depending on the quality of the service.

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

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 the Philippines. 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 the Philippines 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