Successful Entertaining in Portugal
Business entertaining forms an essential part of business development activities in Portugal. It is considered very normal to invite business contacts for either lunch or dinner — although breakfast meetings are far less common. Lunch usually starts at about 1pm and will last for at least two hours whilst dinner will commence at some time between 8pm and 9:30 and can last for up to three hours.
Mealtimes are used for cementing relationship ties rather than discussing business details — so be wary of starting to talk business unless the topic is raised by your Portuguese counterpart. You should use this time to get to know your Portuguese guests or hosts more fully as people. Family, holidays, sports, your impressions of Portugal etc. will often be discussed on these occasions.
Wine is very often drunk during business meals — although it is becoming somewhat less common at lunchtime.
Service charges are often not included on the bill (except in good hotels) and you should therefore leave a tip. A 5% tip would be normal; 10% is generous.