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