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