Olive Garden Pasta Pass Is Back With New Twist
Darden Restaurant’s (NYSE:DRI) Olive Garden is once again selling its unlimited Pasta Passes. The Pasta Pass lets pasta lovers indulge in Never Ending Pasta Bowls for eight weeks for $100. Pasta Pass holders will have from Sept. 25 through Nov. 19 to eat unlimited pasta, soup, salad and breadsticks. The Pasta Pass will be sold starting Thursday at 2:00 p.m. E.T. for half an hour.
Olive Garden first released the unlimited pasta passes in 2014. The restaurant chain substantially increased the number of passes available last year, boosting the numbers from 2,000 to 21,000. Olive Garden’s unlimited pasta bowls are typically available for $9.99. Pasta Pass holders will have to visit Olive Garden more than 10 times over the eight weeks to get the most bang for their buck.
Customers will have to act quickly to score one of the 22,000 Pasta Passes available this year in honor of the twenty-second anniversary of the Never Ending Pasta Bowl. You may want to be prepared at your keyboard early if you want to nab the deal. Last year, the 21,000 unlimited pasta passes available sold out in less than a minute after going on sale. Some of them were later offered on eBay for more than $4,000.
This year, the restaurant chain is adding a new experience to the Pasta Pass. Fifty pasta lovers will have the chance to buy an eight-day trip to Italy in addition to eight weeks of unlimited pasta. Olive Garden wanted to celebrate the third year of the all-you-can-eat offering. Mary Kate Rosack, Olive Garden’s director of marketing, said, “We wanted to do something crazy this year to capitalize on our guests’ love for the Never Ending Pasta Bowl and pasta pass.”
The “Pasta Passports to Italy,” which retail for $200, includes the two months of unlimited pasta as well as airfare, meals, hotel stays and daily activities for them and a friend for an all-inclusive, eight-week trip in Italy. The winners will take the trip April 7, 2018 through April 14, 2018 through Siena, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Vatican City and Pisa.
In a statement, Jennifer Arguello, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden, said, “Every year, through our Pasta Pass sale, we get to connect with and delight thousands of our most passionate Olive Garden fans. We couldn’t think of a better way to create even more memories and a deeper connection to our brand than through a special edition Pasta Pass that includes an all-inclusive trip for two to the country that inspires us.”