Meals, Clothing Code & Gifts

Dark suits and ties are the standard dress for management level businessmen

Women wearing business suits with either skirts or trousers

Australians will usually send formal invitations for dinner parties and will specify the dress code

If unsure, it is always good to ask what the dress code is, and Australians will gladly explain

Gift-giving is not part of Australian business culture

It is best not to send a gift to your business counterpart at any time

Holiday cards are very appropriate, particularly as a ‘thank-you’ for the business done during the previous year

If you are invited to a home for dinner, it’s okay to bring flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine

Australia is a very hot country

Try to avoid excessive jewellery and accessories which may be viewed as too flashy

There are no laws or rules on clothing in public, but you are expected to wear certain clothing for business situations

Most organisations have dress standards

Standard business dress code for men is a black or navy suit with a white shirt and tie

During the summer, the jacket can be removed

Women are best not to wear too much jewelry and makeup, as it can be seen as extravagant

Be mindful of Australian custom to ‘bring your own’ (byo), Best practice is to ask when invited if you should bring something

If you are told to ‘bring a plate’ check with your host what type of food would be the best to bring

If you are giving a gift any product relating to your home country is a good choice

Do not give expensive gifts, as they could be perceived as ‘boasting’

When you receive an invitation to lunch, dinner- it is polite to respond

Written invitations usually ask for RSVP – which means ‘please reply’

If a guest wants to pay, it is best to make arrangements ahead of time so that no exchange occurs at the table

People will very often ‘go Dutch’ over a meal – this means that the bill is split equally

If invited to a pub for a drink, it is important to ‘pay your shout’ – that means that everybody is expected to pay for a round of drinks

You should always reply whether you accept or not. The invitation will tell you how to reply and by when

Australians can be sensitive when someone cannot accept their invitation

Once you have accepted an invitation, and you find out that you cannot go, you must tell the reason to your host

If you accept an invitation for a meal it is ok to tell your host what you cannot eat

As with business meetings, time is important for other appointments as well, and arriving late is not polite

If you are going to be late, your hosts will appreciate a phone call

Usually the one who invites pays the bill

Once a relationship is established, the bills are often split in half

It is unadvisable to develop a reputation as someone who does not pay for his fair share of the drinks

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