Beginning September 8, 2014 at 3 pm ET, Olive Garden will offer a 7 Week Never Ending Pasta Pass for $100. That's $2/day. The pass includes unlimited pasta, salad, bread, and Coca-Cola branded soft drinks every day for seven weeks. Offer expires when 1,000 passes have been sold.
Nothing like being one of 1,000 VIP's who can gorge on pasta for 49 days in a row. The PR stunt piggybacks with the chain's annual "Never Ending Pasta Bowl" promo, Sept. 22 through Nov. 9., which lets folks eat all the pasta they want for $9.99.The restaurant estimates there are 150 combinations of its pasta, sauce and toppings.
Olive Garden’s promotion of its Never Ending Pasta Pass may have unwittingly soured brand perceptions among the general public. The 1,000 Never Ending Pasta Passes sold out within 45 minutes of their September 8, 2014 online release.
Some customers expressed frustration with the online sales and in learning that the passes were non-transferrable.
About Olive Garden
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated nearly 30 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.