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Business etiquette
Restaurant negotiations. Basic rules
The right time to start

The negotiations themselves usually can only start when you proceed to a coffee. Only in that moment you can take out papers, contract and laptop. And if the secretary is present to document the negotiations, only in this moment she is allowed to take out the papers/laptop too.

This can change from culture to culture and some nations prefer not to waste time and switch directly to business matters almost from the very beginning, but let us see this as an exclusion. So before you proceed to the coffee, you are basically doing a small talk and getting to know you partners.

The success of restaurant negotiations consists from three parts - small talk skills, knowing of table manners and negotiation skills.

Basic recommendations

- Do not order anything difficult to eat or anything that can distract you from conversation
- To call the waiter, make an eye contact with him and just bow
- Never hold the cutlery in hand while talking. Put it on plate
- Paying the bills is the inviting party
- You are giving the best seats to your guests
Topics to include
Unlike small talk on social events, in business it is appropriate to talk about the children and some your family traditions as it is showing you like a reliable person.

If you do not drink
Do not tell that you do not drink at all as you do not want to confuse your companion. You can always say: "Unfortunately I do not drink today, but I would recommend you ...that wine". It is considered appropriate to drink up to 2 glasses of wine on the restaurant negotiations.
Could be something impersonal and not related to health. Could be a book or some souvenir, collection item, some new tech, something personalized or something related to a person's hobby - that way you will show you know the people you are working with and your care. In Europe it is common the presents cost no more than 100 euro.