Lunches can be set up to discuss something that is under negotiation or can be a continuation of a meeting that happened just before the lunch.
When the Brazilian executive is the client, he expects the vendor to pay the lunch or dinner bill.
Always make a reservation in a renowned restaurant with good references.
The main meals are breakfast, between 7 and 9 am, lunch, usually between midday and 2 pm, and dinner, which takes place from 7 pm. Celebrating dinners take place from 9 pm. Brazilians try to have their meals with their families.
It’s advisable to arrive on time for a business lunch or dinner. For social dinners, Brazilians usually arrive half an hour late. For more informal social events, like parties, Brazilians can arrive up to an hour or two hours late.
It’s not advisable to ask for alcoholic beverages during lunch, but up to two shots of alcoholic beverage is acceptable at dinner.
Brazilians observe eating etiquette and for them it demonstrates sophistication and refinement.
They always wash their hands before eating and the food is never touched with the hands, not even fruits or birds. They always use a fork and knife. Brazilians use a fork and knife in the continental style, with the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left one. The napkin, most of the time made of fabric, is used after drinking and eating.
Never use tooth picks while you are still sitting at the table because it’s not regarded as good manners, as well as burping or throwing kernels or fish spine in the plate.
Before the first sip, people usually propose a toast by raising their glasses and saying “Saúde”. It’s important to drink immediately after the toast. Toasts are made with less ceremony than in other cultures.
Brazilians, in the majority, used to drink coffee after meals, and it’s usually ordered with the bill.
In the majority of restaurants, the tip is already included in the bill. However, it’s valid to ask the waiter. For independent services like supermarket delivery boys and taxi drivers, the tip can be given according to convenience.
If you receive an invitation, it’s important to confirm if you will attend or not. This can be done in an informal way; however, it’s important to know that Brazilians can show up at an event even after having said that they wouldn’t go and may not go even after confirming their presence.
Brazilians are used to having a Happy Hour among workmates after work in bars near the office. In these meetings it’s acceptable to have some glasses of beer or any other alcoholic beverage. Avoid speaking about workmates who are not present. It’s expected that each one pay his/her own bill.
The Brazilian workmate or business partner will only invite you to an event in his/her house if a closer relationship has been established. When invited, in case you are accompanied by your spouse, it’s advisable to carry some flowers, a chocolate box or a bottle of alcoholic beverage for the host.
In Brazilian events, food and drinks are the responsibility of the host. So, avoid asking your guests to bring something. Events never have a fixed time to end.