Just What Year Does Kraft Foods Think This Is?

A commercial for a new Kraft macaroni and cheese product claims the family-sized meal kit could save moms from the embarrassing situation of having nothing on the stove when their husbands unexpectedly bring a client home for dinner.

Gee, Kraft, how would women find time to get dinner ready when they're busy shopping for girdles and planting victory gardens? Despite a weak attempt by Kraft to update the creaky scenario with contemporary lingo -- "Dad's in the doghouse again: He just showed up with his client unannounced, not even a text," the son explains -- the client dinner debacle plot was already dated when Ozzie and Harriet devoted an episode to it in 1963. But it's an especially odd narrative to resurrect in an age when almost nobody brings clients home for dinner.

Home hospitality is still considered the apex of business etiquette, according to business etiquette expert Lydia Ramsey. "It's a really nice thing to do, when you develop a friendship," says Ramsey, author of Manners That Sell: Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. "I've been invited to an associate's home, and find it very relaxing."

Yet Ramsey concedes, "It's not done often any more. It's easier and more convenient to go to a restaurant.

Entertaining clients at home waned when upper-middle-class women entered the workplace, leaving no one behind to prepare an elegant supper. Ramsey says the increased acceptance of dietary idiosyncrasies also helped make restaurant dining a more attractive option: It's far simpler for a professional kitchen to accommodate a party with various food restrictions.

Salespeople who invite clients home also risk exposing unimpressive elements of their private lives. Does anybody really want to do business with someone who owns a ferret or decorated his dining room in jungle prints?

"If you're going to do it, you want to make sure your family is presentable and your wife's in a good mood," Ramsey says.

And it's probably not wise to serve macaroni and cheese out of a bag, Ramsey adds.

"Make sure whoever's doing the cooking is a good cook," she advises.


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Randar
Randar

There's human trafficking, rampant violence and drug abuse, our neighbor to the South is having an all out civil war that spills over our border regularly, the housing market has entered "depression era" numbers, massive flooding has struck both South America and Australia at the same time, Russia lost 40% of its wheat crop which will cause a reverberating shortage of food throughout the world, America is broke and still fighting 2 wars with no clear end in site and now the news reports that we've got Army Rangers running around Pakistan, and THIS is where your outrage lies?!? Do they give out journalism degrees in cereal boxes nowadays? Good thing The Observer is free, because I'd be pissed off if I paid for this type of hard-hitting news coverage.

Balonpie
Balonpie

Dude... Mac and Cheese from a box sucks. The fact that Americans eat that crap is news worthy.

Mike
Mike

There is no indication that the mother does not work. And, unfortunately, most household tasks still fall to the wife in two-working-parent-households. This country is so PC that a future archeologist would never get even close to a true picture of us by viewing anything on TV or written in the last 10 years. So, what's the objection again? Nobody brings clients home for dinner anymore? I got news for you, - shhhhh, don't tell anybody but almost every ad does not reflect real life.

Balonpie
Balonpie

"Homestyle" mac and cheese out of a box to impress a guest? I think we are missing the lead here...

Tahini
Tahini

No mention of the now-famous homeless guy doing the voice over who everyone thinks is a miracle yet is actually still an alcoholic and who shit out 9 kids despite being homeless and drug-addled and assumed zero semblance of parenthood or responsibility, contributing to the ever-increasing tax burden and crime rate?

warden62
warden62

What does that have to do with macaroni and cheese?

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