In Mexico, it is a social custom to say “provecho” (proh-veh-choh) before starting a meal or when you enter or leave the presence of someone who is eating.
Provecho comes from the word aprovechar, which means “to make the most of it.” A deeper meaning of provecho is “to express the desire that something is useful or convenient to the health or wellbeing of someone, often addressed to those who are eating or drinking.” It is equivalent to the English “enjoy your meal!” or the French “bon appétit!”
This single word is frequently used in Mexican culture. You’ll hear it in the office when you’re having a quick bite. You’ll hear it in a restaurant when fellow diners pass by your table on their way in or out of the place while you’re eating.
It’s very easy to get used to this beautiful single word which brings immeasurable goodwill to a meal. When someone wishes you “provecho” you immediately respond with a “Gracias, igualmente” (grah-seeh-yahs, eeh-gwahl-mehn-teh) which means “thanks, same to you.”
When someone in your presence announces that they’re going for a meal, you wish them “buen provecho” (bwehn proh-veh-choh) in advance. It is also customary when you hear someone burp out loud to wish them “provecho” for a good digestion.
Here at Provecho we would like to wish you health and well being when you dine with us. Also, keep this in mind the next time you travel to Mexico, whenever you catch the eye of someone who’s eating, whether the person is a stranger or not, don’t forget to say “provecho”!