Meals, Clothing Code & Gifts

A visitor thinking of giving a gift should choose one that is small and of good quality, but not overly expensive

Acceptable gifts at business meetings are items of office equipment, good quality pens with your company’s logo or liquor

When invited to a German home, it is appropriate to bring a gift of flowers, wine, chocolates, or a small gift that represents your home country or region

Flowers should be given in uneven numbers and unwrapped

Business dress in Germany is understated, formal and conservative

Businessmen should wear dark coloured, conservative business suits; solid, conservative ties, and white shirts.

Women also dress conservatively, in dark suits and white blouses or conservative dresses.

Women are recommended to refrain from wearing heavy make-up and ostentatious jewellery or accessories

Do not be surprised however, if occasionally you do see a fashion statement with white socks being worn with a dark suit

Meals are an opportunity to create business relationships with German colleagues, since, as noted, culture is not practiced small talk during the meetings themselves

When invited to a German, make sure Arrival time must be informed about any unplanned delay

Do not sit down at the table with no host and no reservations start dinner before the host

The host is the first glass songs

At The next day to the visit, you should send a thank you card to the host

Dress code- For men and women alike, to wear formal business suits and conservative and avoid conspicuous jewelry

Customary to bring a gift to the host when invited to visit the German.  The recommended gift box of chocolates, wine or flowers

When it comes to wine, there is wine made to non-German and about flowers, Avoid red flowers with romantic intentions or flowers, are usually used in funerals as chrysanthemums or lilies

Outdoor eating is very popular in Germany, and it is not unusual or indeed unacceptable to find someone’s dog laying underneath their table

In restaurants, service is generally included and an extra 5% would be regarded as a reasonable tip.

Do not begin eating until the host starts or someone says “Guten Appetit” (have a nice meal)

Do not rest your elbows on the table

Do not put your left hand in your lap when you eat. In fact both hands must be visible at all times

Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate, with the fork over the knife

Yellow roses or tea roses are always well received

Do not give red roses as they symbolize romantic intentions

Do not give carnations as they symbolize mourning

Do not give lilies or chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals

Gifts are usually opened when received

Business dress is understated, formal and conservative

Germans take great pride in their homes

They are kept neat and tidy at all times, with everything in its appointed place

In a culture where most communication is rather formal, the home is the place where one can relax and allow your individualism to shine

Only close friends and relatives are invited into the sanctity of the house, so it is the one place where more informal communication may occur

Arrive on time as punctuality indicates proper planning. Never arrive early

Never arrive more than 15 minutes later than invited without telephoning to explain you have been detained

Send a handwritten thank you note the following day to thank your hostess for her hospitality

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

Table manners are Continental — the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating

At a large dinner party, wait for the hostess to place her napkin in her lap before doing so yourself

Do not rest your elbows on the table

Do not cut lettuce in a salad. Fold it using your knife and fork

Cut as much of your food with your fork as possible, since this compliments the cook by indicating the food is tender

Finish everything on your plate

Rolls should be broken apart by hand

Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate, with the fork over the knife

The host gives the first toast

If you are invited to a German’s house, bring a gift such as chocolates or flowers

Men should wear dark coloured, conservative business suits

Avoid presenting 13 of any kind of flower or red roses

Do not give red roses as they symbolise romantic intentions

Do not give carnations as they symbolise mourning

Do not give lilies or chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals

Gifts are usually opened when received

Being well and correctly dressed is very important. Casual or sloppy attire is frowned upon

Women should wear either business suits or conservative dresses

Do not wear ostentatious jewellery or accessories

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