Business Entertaining in Canada

If invited to a business meal in Canada, it is most likely to be for a lunch or possibly a breakfast meeting. Although it is not unknown to be invited out for dinner, it is less common than in some other countries.

It is not really considered impolite to discuss business issues over the meal. It is relatively unusual for alcohol to be served with a meal at lunchtime.

When eating, the fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating. The knife tends to be used to cut items or spread things onto a food item. When using your knife, the fork is switched to the left hand or is laid down on the plate. When you wish to continue eating, switch your fork back to the right hand. (You can, of course, use the European style of dining, in which the knife and fork are never switched if that is what you are more comfortable with.)

Restaurants charge a Goods and Services Tax [GST] but gratuities are not included in the bill. It is expected that you leave a tip of around 15% for good service.


This country-specific business culture profile was written by Keith Warburton who is the founder of the cultural awareness training consultancy Global Business Culture

Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working.  We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.

This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Canada only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.

Country Breakdown





Canadian Dollar


$ 1.53