Etiquette in Austria

Austria is a landlocked European country of roughly 8.5 million people.

The official language is German. Many Austrians study French and Italian and there are usually English speakers in major cities and large multinational corporations.

The government is a federal semi-presidential republic. The head of state is the Federal President, elected by popular vote. The chairman of the Federal Government is the Federal Chancellor, who is appointed by the president.

Approximately 64% of the population are Roman Catholic. The largest minority religion is Lutheran, although many other religions are practiced in Austria.

The currency is the Euro.

Entertaining Etiquette

Austrians keep a strict division between work and play. While it is okay to invite your counterpart to dinner, don’t be surprised if they decline while you are still under negotiations.

Business breakfasts are uncommon and while a typical lunch lasts 30 minutes, a business lunch may be extended.

Any invitation to dinner will likely be to a restaurant. If you are invited to someone’s home, consider it an honor. Dress well and bring a gift, preferably from your home country.

Austrians tend to be serious about coffee and wine. Good topics of conversation include Austrian culture, cuisine, history, and landscapes. While it may feel like small talk, present yourself intelligently as your competence is being judged.