Meals, Clothing Code & Gifts

If you are invited to dinner, bring a box of good quality chocolates or flowers to the hostess or a bottle of wine or good brandy to the host

Be cautious about giving flowers, since people over the age of 35 often see flowers as having a romantic connotation

If the value of a gift is higher than the ceiling, it must be reported to senior management or rejected

You should choose conservative business attire, and avoid bright colours when attending a business meeting

Large organisations set a dress code for their employees

In small and medium-sized companies, there are no dress codes

Do not give calla lilies as they are used at funerals

Gifts are usually opened when received

Czechs prefer to invite their foreign counterparts to restaurants and not in their home

Most business people do not expect presents at the first meeting, but small gifts such as a souvenir of the visiting business partner’s country are acceptable

Expensive presents are not recommended, and most companies have a ceiling on the value of gifts that can be accepted

Arrive on time

Expect to be treated with great honour and respect

Dress modestly and well

If the invitees will be meeting at the restaurant and not travelling together, it is recommended to arrive on time

There are no strict rules on where to sit, although if there are only two people, then you will probably sit opposite each other

The dress code for lunch and dinner would be formal business attire, such as a dark coloured suit for men and something equally professional for women

Do not discuss business. Czechs separate their business and personal lives

Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat

Do not begin eating until the hostess starts

Unless the meal is formal, the napkin remains folded next to the plate. At formal meals, the napkin is unfolded and put on your lap

The oldest woman or honoured guest is generally served first

Always refuse second helpings the first time they are offered. Wait for the hostess to insist

Most Czech business people would never contemplate hosting a business dinner in their own home

The host will always choose the restaurant, make the reservation and pay for the meal, including the tip

If you are not sure what to wear, it is best to ask the host for advice

In Czech culture you are not obliged to accept everything you are offered

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