Grandi Ravioli (Issue 1031)

In which we are reminded not to assume that our clients know what they are doing when they ask for products or services.

Our family pasta crawl – finding family-owned providers of fresh raviolis to take away and cook at home – continues.  [To catch up with the story, start here.]

One afternoon, I heard, “Let’s see what Rino’s offers.”  Rino’s is a small, family-run restaurant in East Boston, featured three times on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives”, well known for serving humongous portions of made-to-order Italian-inspired food. The lobster ravioli are to die for. It’s a no-reservations place. The dinner wait time can easily run two hours.

“I don’t want to wait that long.”

“I’ll call them and ask if they’ll sell us the cheese ravioli fresh, not cooked. We’ll cook it here.”

We called and asked: “Do you make your own cheese ravioli? Can we take out uncooked?”

“Yes” (through gritted teeth) and “Sure,” we heard, “we’ll do that. How many would you like?”

We thought for a moment.  Each of us usually eats about six ravioli for dinner; two of us for dinner. “Twelve,” we said.

When we arrived to pick up the ravioli, we heard, “It’ll be an hour.”

When we returned in an hour and paid the (are you kidding me?) $70 for the ravioli, the kitchen guys handed us a 21” x 13” foil steam table pan and a half gallon (HALF GALLON) jug of gravy (red sauce).

We retreated to our car wondering, “what in the world…?”, and opened the pan.  There, spaced evenly in the pan  and sprinkled generously with corn meal, were the 12 raviolis. Each of them weighed around a half-pound, each large enough to cover the palm of my hand.

“Oh, my goodness. I could only eat one of those!”

“Yeah, I had no idea they were that big. Yikes!”

That first night, we ate three of them between two of us.  They were fabulous… and we finished the meal feeling as bloated as we have after one or another Thanksgiving dinner.

“Shouldn’t we …. like… It’s Rino’s. Shouldn’t we have guessed… Shouldn’t they have told us about their ravioli?”

I’m imagining the person at Rino’s receiving our call.  The dining room is full. The kitchen is going full tilt. She’s thinking,  “Yeah, I just took a call from this giamope who asked if we make the ravioli and then ordered 12 of them. Idiota! Who am I to question? Are ya feeding half the neighborhood?   Twelve it is. Good luck to ‘em.”

A couple of days later, still curious, I looked at Rino’s website.  Right there on the home page they write, “fist-sized cheese ravioli” and, on another page, include a picture of three such ravioli on a dinner plate.

Some people… that would be me this time… call sounding like they know what they want  and (without looking at the web site, without reading the reviews)  they make requests or place orders (whether it’s for lasagna, loam, or loans) and, hey, it isn’t what they expected… because each vendor has their own special twist on it.

If we’re taking that call, we ought to check: “Sure, honey, we can do that. Have you had these with us before? These aren’t your little grocery frozen pockets. They’re 8 ounces, capisce?”

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at .


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