So, what on earth is a SOBREMESA?
It literally means “on top of the table”. But what it really means, is about the tradition we have to talk over the lunch table after a big meal. This fun conversation can go up to 4 hours, or maybe until dinner time.
As you can imagine, this is not an everyday thing, but on the weekends, it is a must. It is the moment to catch up with the family. Many times, the sobremesa starts with light conversations such as soccer, work…. But as the Gin and tonics go in, our tongues start to loosen up and then the conversation starts going into more intense and darker areas like politics or religion. At the end, what comes out over the table, stays over the table and there is no bad mood about what it has been said.
But if we talk about sobremesa regarding business deals that is a different and very important issue. If you are a foreigner who wants to close a deal in Spain, you need to master the art of sobremesa talk.
After one year of preparation and a long morning of meetings, your Spanish people will invite you for lunch. This lunch will be relaxed and delicious Spanish food and wine will be served. It will be a large meal, several starters, salad, main dish and dessert.
Right after the dessert, they will ask you, do you want coffee? Politely you will answer yes, and the sobremesa will start.
That coffee will probably come with a local liquor that you will not be able to reject. Then you will be interrogated in the softest way for at least 2 hours. Here you can lose the deal you have been working for the last year. Those 2 hours, you have to be alert, very alert. It is going to look like a very relaxed chat, and the conversation will be fluid. Don´t be fooled, they are getting all your company’s private info. If you thought FACEBOOK shares part of your life, guess what, you are about to share ALL your private and company info. So be wise and just share what they want to hear!!!