The dos and don’ts – at the Korean dinner table
As in other Asian countries, business relationships are often based on trust and personal relationships. You will certainly be invited to eat with your partners a few times during negotiations. Here are some tips and advice on table etiquette.
- It is preferable to wait for someone to assign you a seat because there is a strict protocol for deciding who should sit where.
- As elsewhere in Asia, chopsticks are the utensils used for eating. It is essential to avoid pointing at someone or something with your chopsticks, stabbing your food with them or placing them in a parallel or crossed fashion on your rice bowl.
- Wait until the older people start to eat before you do.
- It is customary to finish ones plate. If you are offered a second serving, refuse it at first before accepting it afterwards if you wish.
- If an older person gives you a drink, you should accept it with both hands and drink it with your head turned to the side so that you aren’t facing him while drinking.