United States: Prosperous Entertaining – Part 1


Entertaining for business success

General Tips

Business breakfasts are common, and can start as early as 7:00 a.m.

On weekends, many people partake in ‘brunch’, a combination of lunch and breakfast beginning anywhere from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Business meetings may be held over ‘brunch.’

Business meetings are also frequently held over lunch, which begins at 12:00 noon and sometimes lasts until 2:00 p.m. Lunch is usually a lighter meal, since work continues directly afterward. Be careful about alcoholic beverages such as wine or beer at lunch. You may find some companies where this is common, and others that have strict policies against alcoholic drinks during lunch hours. Follow the lead of your host and order a soft drink if you are unsure.

Dinner is the main meal of the day and can start between 5:30 and 8:00 p.m.

In the United States, little business is conducted on Sundays. This is the standard day of worship for many religions. If your stay in the U.S. is short, however, your American business counterparts may arrange to do business on this day.

The fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating. The knife is used to cut or spread something onto a food item. To use the knife, the fork is switched to the left hand or is laid down; to continue eating, the fork is switched back to the right hand. But, if you prefer to use the “continental” style of dining, in which the knife and fork are never switched, that is acceptable, too. Many people in the United States are casual in their use of the knife and fork and aren’t particularly concerned with formal rules of etiquette. Some foods are eaten with the hands. As a general rule, you may want to follow the example of your companions.

It is not considered rude to eat while walking down the street.

Many “convenience” stores, that is, establishments carrying frequently purchased products such as milk, soft drinks, snacks, newspapers/magazines, and cigarettes, are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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