Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mexican Business Etiquette: Who pays?

The question of who pays for a business meal is confusing for a lot of people, even within their own country, so when you throw another country and culture into the mix it gets confusing.  Let's say you are traveling to Monterrey, Mexico to meet the general director of a maquiladora who will be manufacturing parts that you will sell in the US.  The general rule is this: if you are the party that is seeking the business relationship, you should pay.  However, you will find that most of your Mexican partners will insist on picking up the bill since they feel like hosts and because you took the time to travel to visit them. 

Note - a single woman should never ask a man out to a business lunch unless there is another party invited (her business associate, his business associate, etc).  It may sound old school, but you will aboid the chance of putting yourself in an uncomfortable position.  If you have to have the meeting alone for whatever reason, make sure it is in a neutral place, like the restaurant of your hotel.  It is not common for women to pick up the check in Mexico, even if you are the one that proposed the meeting in the first place.

The most important thing when it comes to the bill is to never make a scene.  If your Mexican business partner (or potential partner) agrees to pay, gracefully accept and show your gratitude. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent ! This is a nice post. You know exactly what you're talking about, exactly where other people are coming .Thanks 
    Mexico business etiquette