Business Dinner Etiquette In Hispanic Cultures – What You Need To Know
These days, most companies will need to conduct businesses with other companies from different cultures to flourish. This also means that you need to learn how to deal with other business cultures to increase your chances of getting a better agreement.
To help you with that, this article is going to focus on a few of the most important things when it comes to business dinner etiquette in Hispanic cultures.
- Punctuality – Most people think that most Hispanic cultures are not very punctual. In most social gatherings, this is true. However, in a business setting, most Hispanic businessmen know about the importance of being punctual. This means that you should always be on time just to be safe. However, don’t get stressed too much if the other Hispanic party doesn’t make a big deal about punctuality. Remember, you are there to conduct not business, not to change business cultures.
- Addressing A Person – It’s common for Hispanics to have 2 first names and 2 surnames. It’s considered polite in Hispanic cultures to call someone by their father’s surname. Hence, make sure that you are actually calling a person by his/her surname as it’s easy to get confused because of the 2 first names. Most Hispanic address Mr. as Señor, and Señora for Mrs.
- Dinner Meeting – Hispanic cultures have the tendency to not “get down to business” immediately. They usually engage first in casual conversation. They usually like to talk about your family life and background. Accommodate these questions as best as you can. Hispanics like to deal business with someone they can trust, and these questions are sort of finding out if you are reliable and honest. Hence, don’t be in a hurry to the business at hand. Once this phase is over, you can then talk about business. Keep in mind that Hispanics tend not make deals on the dinner table. They would rather do it in the office. Hence, don’t be surprised if progress is slow and a lot of sidetrack conversation happens. You can politely steer back the conversation to the business at hand if the sidetrack conversation goes for too long.
- When The Bill Comes – In Hispanic cultures, bills are rarely split between two parties. The party that extends the invitation will often shoulder the bill. If the bill comes and you are doing the inviting, then receive the bill and give it a couple of seconds. If the other party does not offer to split, go ahead and shoulder the entire bill.
It pays to know the business dinner etiquette in Hispanic cultures. Knowing the “to do” and what not “to do” can significantly increase the chances of getting a good agreement. Generally, Hispanic cultures like to do business with you as a person, rather than a company. Hence, be ready to get personal and share your life and family background. Also, don’t forget about the issue of punctuality and bill splitting.