After Hours Drinking with Clients (Settai)

“Settai” is the Japanese term for entertaining business partners. It includes drinks, dinner, lunches, and sometimes weekend golf rounds. Budgets for such hospitality expenses can often exceed other business necessities.

Even after working long hours each day Japanese salaryman still expected to take their clients for drinking “Settai” after work.

Drinking after work is considered part of the job. Drinking parties wasn’t the only thing that kept they busy and they were expected to participate in sports activities sponsored by their company, which mean they aren’t home even on the weekends sometimes.

Then you also need to learn about difference between “Omotenashi” and “Settai”.

“Omotenashi” is a Japanese way of hospitality and customer service and this word became popular at Japan’s Olympic big presentation. Japan used this word to Olympic committees to explain how Japan can give great hospitality to the sports players and audience from all over the world.

Omotenashi is one of the beautiful aspects of Japanese culture. It is very difficult to translate in English by one sentence but in one accepted translation of Omotenashi is “hospitality”.

So just what is the difference between Omotenashi and hospitality. In the West, we tend to see hospitality as providing exceptional customer service with the expectation to receive something in return. With Omotenashi, it is providing exceptional customer service without the assumption of receiving a reward.

However, Japanese Settai need much longer time and cost a lot. Need to treat the guests as a King or Queen. Usually people go to a bar style restaurant and move to girls bar but it is super expensive bar. One customer can get one girl to just serve alcohol for them and it costs around 100USD per hour per person.

Another popular Settai is playing golf with customers. Western business people also play golf with customers, but it is more relaxed atmosphere. Many of Japanese sales people don’t like playing golf with customers. That is because sales people have to “Omotenashi” to their customers. They need to pay attention that if their customers feel happy and satisfied. This is more like a server or waiter.

Building a good relationship with customers are very important. However, Japanese business people sometimes spend too much money for this Settai and waste of money. However, as we mentioned earlier, we do have Omotenashi culture potentiality. So those two are existing in our mind. You may find best way how to make good relationship with clients when you got real meaning of either one of two words.

Briefly stated, these are meant to be purely social events as part of the Japanese business culture of showing utmost hospitality.

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