Dining Etiquette in Greece
If you conduct business on an international level, your probably travel to foreign countries often. If you’re fortunate enough to visit Greece for business purposes, you’re in for a treat when it comes to the food and beverages you’ll have the chance to savor. While you’ll enjoy many kinds of delicious foods and drinks during a typical trip to Greece, you should abide by some Greek dining etiquette during every meal.
The Basics of Dining Etiquette in Greece
One of the most basic rules of dining etiquette in Greece applies to consuming alcohol. Wine is often drunk at lunch and dinner in Greece, and your hosts will typically refill your glass whenever it’s less than half full. Ouzo is another common adult beverage that’s served during meals. Whether you’re drinking wine or ouzo, it’s important to know that you’ll always be offered more to drink when your glass falls below a certain level. If you don’t want anymore to drink, you can subtly communicate it by keeping your glass more than half full.
Food etiquette in Greece often requires a host to make a toast before a meal begins. “To your health,” is a common toast in Greece. If your host offers this toast or another one to your party, acknowledge the person’s good wishes by raising your glass.
The Do's of Dining Etiquette in Greece
To avoid offending your dining companions, especially your host, it’s vital to refrain from eating until your hosts invite you to begin. When you dig into your meal, make sure you hold your knife with your right hand and your fork in your left hand.
When you’re done eating, crisscross your knife and fork on your plate, putting your knife under your fork and positioning the fork so that its tines face downward. If you’re not using your utensils, your hands still need to be visible to your dining companions.
You can rest your wrists on the table, but Greek food etiquette dictates that you should never put your elbows on the table. Bread is available during many Greek meals, and it’s typically served with butter. While bread has a place on many tables in Greece, your place setting will not ordinarily include a bread plate. In general, it’s acceptable for you to use your bread to soak up any sauce or gravy that remains on your plate.
The Don'ts of Dining Etiquette in Greece
When it comes to adhering to dining etiquette in Greece, it’s crucial to avoid being stingy with your food. It’s not unusual for guests to eat from other people’s plates so always be ready to share some of your delicious fare.
Even if a pressing business issue was your motivation for traveling to Greece, it’s inappropriate for you to start a business discussion at the lunch or dinner table. If you don’t have a long-standing relationship with your peers, the topic of business may not even come up during the meal you planned to use to talk about a given business topic. Be patient and follow the lead of your Greek companions when it comes to discussing business over a meal.
In Greece, it’s typical for the person who invited someone else to join them for a meal to pay the bill. While that’s the case, it’s customary for an invited guest to make an effort to pay for the meal.
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