On business entertaining in Düsseldorf
During the trade fair, you can spend a lot of time with clients at your booth, but it's equally important to conduct some of business off-site and outside of the trade fair setting. The simple gesture of treating them to dinner is a signal that shows serious intent, and it's wise to follow-through on any invitations issued either by you or to you.
One may find the Düsseldorf Altstadt (Old City) to be almost as busy in the evening as the trade fair grounds were during the day. Düsseldorf caters to most any type of palette, from traditional German fare to Global Cuisine, from a modest Beer Garden to high-end dining. A good resource for local restaurants can be found on the Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus website.
Of course, one should keep some basic etiquette in mind while dining in a foreign country:
- Wait for the host before you start to eat or drink.
- Make eye contact before and after raising the glass in toast.
- Never use your fingers. This goes for French fries as well! Always use utensils.
- When not eating, keep your hands visible, resting on the table.
- Water/Drinks are not complimentary. They must be ordered separately.
• Don't expect coffee during the course of the meal. It is always served after.
When the meal is done, tipping is another one of those cultural nuances that can be difficult to grasp. A few items to take into consideration:
- Service Charge is already included in the bill.
- If you feel the service was good, it's ok to tip an additional 5-10% of the bill.
• Tip your waiter/waitress directly; don't just leave it on the table.
While it's easy to spend a good portion of your visit on the fairgrounds and in your hotel, it's important to include some local flavor into your business. It will leave a more lasting impression for both you and your clients. As they say in German: Guten Appetit!