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Business lunches and dinners

Lunch in Norway is a simpler affair than in many other countries. It usually consists of open-faced sandwiches — often home-made — eaten with coffee or tea during a half-hour break taken sometime between 11.30 am and 1 pm.

The Continental custom of enjoying a warm meal at midday is becoming more widespread, but is still not the norm. Most workplaces have a lunchroom or canteen, with or without cafeteria facilities. Business partners may be taken to the company facilities for lunch or served during a meeting. Either way, the meal will probably consist of cold sandwiches and/or rolls, fruit, baked goods and various non-alcoholic beverages. In urban areas, it is not uncommon for business visitors to be taken out to lunch at a nearby restaurant.
Norwegians tend to end their working day at the end of business hours and prefer to eat dinner at home with their families. Thus, business dinners intended to cultivate customer relations are more the exception than the rule. As business partnerships turn into friendships, however, it becomes more common to go out for an informal meal or drink together at the end of the workday. Events such as the signing of contracts or successful negotiations are good occasions for celebrating and most Norwegians enjoy the opportunity of gathering socially with their colleagues. Formal meetings and seminars lasting more than a day will usually incorporate one or two dinners and receptions for the participants.

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