Jamaica: Prosperous Entertaining

2015-06-12

Prosperous Entertaining

On this beautiful island, time can feel as though it is standing still; nothing is hurried. “Jamaica, no problem” best describes the approach in this regard.
Jamaica is known for its strong musical culture, and that legacy is found everywhere on the island. You can find excellent live performances most nights of the week at one of the island’s many bars and nightclubs.

If you’re looking for nightlife, head over to Montego Bay. There you’ll find the vibrant Hip Strip with lots of great bars and shops. Negril has a more relaxed holiday vibe, with golden beaches spread out along a gorgeous 7-mile stretch of coastline; Rick’s Cafe is the place to be when the sun goes down. Ocho Rios, one of Jamaica’s busiest destinations, has world-class duty-free shopping and the city is well situated for visiting the entire island’s most popular holiday attractions.

Kingston has a rich history of local theatre and there are several theatres speckled across the landscape boasting a range of cultural and social performances, both in drama and dance. If you are interested in the cinema, local cinemas have robust arrangements in place which ensure that you see the latest movies at almost the same time that they are released in North America. There is a very vibrant night life in the capital, and Knutsford Boulevard in the heart of the financial district “does not sleep.”

Dining Etiquette

While Jamaican table manners are relatively informal, always watch what other people are doing and emulate their behaviors. The more formal the occasion, the stricter the protocol. Do not sit down at the dinner table until someone indicates where you should to sit, and do not begin eating until the host does. Use continental table manners in Jamaica, which means to hold the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right hand.

Meals are often served buffet-style. When not eating, it is acceptable to keep your hands in your lap. Try everything since it demonstrates graciousness.
Always use utensils to eat. Eating everything on your plate is a sign of politeness.

It is bad etiquette to bring up professional matters at the lunch or dinner table. It’s best to wait until the Jamaican host has started a conversation that has to do with the business deal at hand, and this may not occur at a meal. Jamaican professionals are completely focused on work-related matters when in the office, but meal times are usually spent engaging in small talk – although there may be periods of silence when everyone at the table is eating.

Expressing satisfaction with the food, however, will also help to improve business relations.

What are the typical meals throughout the day

Jamaica maintains a simple and traditional mealtime. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A traditional breakfast includes Ackee (a fruit that resembles scrambled eggs) with salt fish, boiled banana, fritters and fresh fruit. Breakfast is usually served between 7a.m to 10am.

Lunch is around noon to 3pm and sometimes contains patties (turnovers stuffed with spicy beef or chicken), jerk chicken or pork, oxtail, curry mutton and other tasty dishes. It typically lasts for 60-90 minutes/

Dinner is at 7 pm to 10 pm or later and can include escovitch fish with sauce and a variety of soups as pumpkin or callaloo.

Jamaican Breakfast

The Main dish is either Liver, Ackee & saltfish (codfish), Mackerel or Red Herring served with any or all of the following, fried dumpling, fried bammy, boiled banana, boiled dumpling and yam.

Jamaican Lunch

Jamaicans love to serve meals such as chicken and rice and peas, curry mutton, Oxtail and beans, Stew peas and a variety of soups.

Jamaican Dinner

Curry Chicken, Curry Shrimp, Escovitch Fish, Steam Fish, Oxtails, Stew Peas, Stew Pork, Tripe and Beans, Cow feet. Steam Beef cabbage with either salt fish or Corn Beef. Curry Goat may be served, but it mostly reserved for Sunday Dinners or special occasions. Spicy foods are normally served with red wine but not mandatory.

What are the most popular venues for business entertaining

Jamaica has a wide variety of venues for leisure and business purposes, Here are a few places:

Courtleigh Hotel & Suites (876)-929-9000
85 Knutsford Boulevard (5), Kingston
The Courtleight Hotel and Suite is located in the heart of the up-scale commercial and shopping district of New Kingston on the hip strip-Knutsford Boulevard that features an array of shops and restaurant.

Knutsford Court Hotel (876)-926-1207
11 Ruthven Road, Kingston
This totally revamped and up-graded property offers an ideal mix of Standard rooms Superior rooms Junior suites and One and Two-bedroom suites.

Le Meridien Jamaica Pegasus (876)-926-3690
81 Knutsford Boulevard (Kingston 5)
The Jamaica Pegasus “Kingston’s Preferred Hotel” is located in the financial and business district-New Kingston. It is within walking distance of international offices embassies historical sites. It is the preferred hotel for business conventions and seminars.

Wyndam Hilton Hotel (876)-926-5430
In the heart of Kingston’s financial and diplomatic district the Hilton Kingston sits on seven and a half acres of lush tropical landscape.

Sunset Jamaica Grande, Resort and Spa – Ocho Rios

The Sunset Jamaica Grande boasts more than 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting space. The 17,650 – square-foot Grande Hall is centrally located and host up to 2,500 people. Extensive outdoor venues are available for themed events and receptions.

When should you arrive at a social event

Arrive at the reception desk no more than five minutes early. Right on time is best. Why not earlier? Because once you arrive, the person you’ll be meeting with feels the need to stop what he or she is doing to pay attention to you. Being right on time shows two things: that you’re considerate of other people’s schedules and that you manage your time well.

Restaurants: Whether the meal is for business or pleasure, if you’re the host, arrive fifteen minutes beforehand so you can check if your table will be ready and greet your guests if they get there early. If you’re the guest, showing up at the agreed-upon time is ideal!

What is the etiquette concerning seating at a dinner table

At formal meals, the most honoured position is at the head of the table, with the most important guest seated immediately to the right of the host (women to the right of the host, and men to the right of the hostess). If there is a hosting couple, one will usually be seated at each end of the table.

Drinking Alcohol with Guests

While it is acceptable to order an alcoholic beverage during evening meals with Jamaican business associates, it is best not to do so during lunch hours, unless other colleagues at the table have done so. No matter the time of the meal, using discretion when drinking is extremely important. Never have more than two alcoholic drinks; drinking too much will cause any professional to be seen in a bad light and may negatively affect the closing of a potential business deal.

How to perform a Toast

Confirm that the glasses are filled before the toast. It doesn’t matter whether the beverage of choice is juice or champagne, as long as a glass is available to each attendee. Get everyone’s attention. Traditionally, the host might tap on a glass to gain the crowd’s attention, rise from your chair and announce, “May I have your attention please?” until you have everyone’s complete attention .Hold your glass in the air and state the purpose of your toast. For instance, extend gratitude toward the crowd for their attendance and tell them that the toast is the official start of the meeting. The attendees will probably remain seated during this portion of the toast. The most common toast is “cheers” Watch as the group raises their glasses to receive and thank you for the toast. Afterward, take a small sip of the beverage and carry on.

What Foods should be served/avoided

Jamaica is famous for their great tasting food and cooking. Jamaican Jerk seasoning is famous around the world and loved by visitors to the island. Jamaican food is usually spicy. Typical lunch and dinner are large meals and last for at least an hour. As the motto says “out of many one people” Jamaica is a very diverse culture and caters to all different types of culture so depending on your preference open your horizon and try things you will like.

Be aware however that many Jamaicans are vegetarians (favour no meat) and some have religious beliefs that do not favour pork. Like everywhere else, be aware of the health issues of your guests when hosting an event; it is polite to inquire in advance if your guests have any special preferences.

How should you accept/decline an invitation

In accepting a formal invitation, it is important to respond appropriately. Formal invitations require an acceptance letter that is both formal and succinct Make sure to use the correct English grammar with the perfect punctuation and spelling.

While it is always flattering when you receive an invitation, there are times where you need to decline an invitation. Doing so politely and thoughtfully will ensure that there are no hard feelings. It is important that you respond in the same way (of the invitation), so you know your message gets through in the manner it was expected. Respond quickly to allow the host to plan the event for an accurate number. Thank the person who invited you and express your interest in attending other functions in the future. Feel free to follow-up with a personal call to the host. This will help end your message on a high note and keep you in the person’s thoughts in a positive rather than negative way.

Tipping

While some restaurants take the liberty of including a 10 percent to 15 percent gratuities charge into the final bill, others do not. So it is wise to thoroughly review the final bill or ask your server about the charges incurred. If a gratuity charge is not incorporated, a 10 percent to 20 percent tip on the total cost is expected depending upon the level of service. Like always, tipping is based solely upon the diner’s discretion.

Many restaurants and hotels in Jamaica, add a service charge for food, beverage, and room expenses. Then again, other hotels do not include this charge. At the time of check-in, consult the front desk employee regarding the hotel’s policy on gratuities and/or service charges. Otherwise, tip helpful service employees an adequate amount. Bellhops expect US$1to US$2 per bag, and maids anticipate US$1 – US$2 per day.