Generally speaking – the traditional Austrian cuisine is not veggie-friendly, nor very healthy. There is a lot of meat, delicious sweet dishes and very often alcohol. Besides that, many international restaurants made their way to become very famous and appreciated (e.g. Italian or Indian cuisine).
Hint: as not all Austrian restaurants offer English speaking menus, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure about the ingredients. Nobody feels offended when you say that you’re a veggie and that you don’t want to eat meat. Nevertheless, use your stay in Austria to try as many food as possible!
When it comes to drinking, Austria offers a wide range of different wines or beers across the country. There is also a small brewery in Schärding, that you can visit: https://www.brauerei-baumgartner.at/brauerei/brauereibesichtigung/ (in German only)
Besides that, the water quality is really good and you can drink the water almost everywhere directly from the tap. It’s also common to order tap water in a restaurant, and only a small service fee will be charged. Austrians also like to go to coffeehouses instead of restaurants to enjoy themselves.
Tipping in Austria is fairly common, but only under certain circumstances. Restaurants and hotels occasionally include a service charge in the final bill, so you need to check before leaving a tip, but in most cases you’ll have to tip separately. If service exceeds expectations, a small gesture of appreciation is always acceptable. One thing to keep in mind is to always hand the tip to the server versus leaving it on the table.
Possible weekend activities
Additional locations to visit:
A town in lower Bavaria, where many Frauscher employees live. Easily reachable from Schärding by train or bike (along the river Inn). Extended shop-opening hours in the evenings and on the weekends.
Some helpful hints
- Make sure to carry your passport with you. There is an obligation to have a government-issued identity card with you (a drivers’ license might not be enough).
- Make sure to always have some cash with you! It’s not possible to pay by (credit) card in all of the shops or restaurants. In addition, foreign currencies are not accepted.
- Austria is not Germany :-) Although, we speak the same language (despite of some very strong regional dialects), never tell an Austrian, that he is German or the other way round.
- Not everybody in Austria understands or speaks English! Be prepared to ask colleagues for assistance before getting around. Make yourself familiar with at least some German words (Bitte, Danke, etc.) :-)
Meeting and Greeting
- Shake hands with everyone (incl. children) present at a business or social meeting; shake hands with women before men. Women should offer their hand first. Shake hands again when leaving.
- Austrians are more reserved and formal. Kissing, hugging, touching and physical closeness in public are not common.
- Eye contact is very important to Austrians.
Names & Titles
- In general, titles are very important. Use last names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your Austrian host or colleagues to use their first names.
- Attention: within Frauscher, this rule is different! It is not common to talk to the CEO of a company using the first name.
- Mr./Mrs. + professional title + surname are used when initially addressing someone. Example: “Herr Doctor Bauer”.
- All women over 18 are “Frau” (Mrs.), even if they are not married.
Dining & Entertainment
- Austrians insist on punctuality for social occasions.
- The host gives the first toast, then the honored guest returns the toast later in the meal. Maintaining eye contact during a toast is very important.
- When finished eating, place your knife and fork side by side on your plate. An open knife and fork on your plate means you would like more food or that you are not yet finished eating. You should not leave any food on your plate at a dinner party (probably the host will ask you, if you didn’t like the food).
- Do not discuss business during a meal unless your host initiates the conversation.
- Austrians take pride in dressing well, regardless of where they are going or what position they hold.
- Dress well when attending a concert or opera.
- When invited to someone's home, always bring a gift for the host:
- Give: flowers (in odd numbers only, except for the dozen - an even number means bad luck - and unwrap before giving to hostess), wine, pastries, chocolates, brandy, whisky.
- Do not give: red roses, unless romance is intended, red carnations (official flower of the Social Democratic Party), perfume.
- Gifts are generally not expected in business, but come prepared in case a gift is presented. Give: desk attire, books, music, a regional or country gift. Do not give: personal gifts, gifts with sharp edges, gifts with company logo (unless very subtle) or a very expensive gift.
- Austrians take punctuality for business meetings very seriously and expect that you will do likewise; call with an explanation if you are delayed. Never cancel an appointment at the last minute.
- Light conversation usually precedes business.
- Rank and title are very important in business. Usually, power is held by a small number of people at the top.
- The business community is very political. Everyone is careful about what they say to or about anyone else.