Alcohol and Business

Sharing an alcoholic drink is a common part of doing business around the world. There’s an expectation that people will indulge in alcohol on business-social occasions and it’s useful in building business relationships.

A corporate consultant and provider of corporate leader development programs suggests that people who do not choose to consume alcoholic beverages should order one and simply not drink it or order something that looks like one. He suggests that people should be gracious by ordering a beverage of some type as part of the relationship-building process.

Although business-related social drinking is expected in many parts of the world, a very few countries either prohibit or restrict the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is prohibited in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran, but is not prohibited in other Middle Eastern Muslim countries. Even in Kuwait, alcohol is served at diplomatic functions. Of course, travelers should never attempt to bring alcoholic beverages into any country that prohibits it. Those who violate the law can be arrested and prosecuted.


  • Drink greases global business bonds., 1-12-04.
  • Heath, Dwight B. Drinking Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis, 2000.