With fans of the restaurant chain looking to get an unlimited fix, Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass sold out in one second. All 24,000 passes were bought by customers, Fox Business reported.
Members spent more than $100 for a nine-week pass. According to the chain’s website, “The Pasta Pass allows a Passholder to enjoy the Never Ending Pasta Bowl® menu at Olive Garden as many times as they wish in-restaurant for nine weeks. That's right – unlimited pasta, sauce and toppings, plus all the soup or salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden for nine weeks!”
And 50 never-ending pass members can attempt to garner elite status for a “lifetime” of carbs for $400. (To be eligible to purchase the lifetime pass, customers must buy the nine-week pass and check an opt-in box.) According to the restaurant’s website, “If you are eligible to upgrade your pass to a Lifetime Pasta Pass, you will receive an email on Friday 8/16. You will have 48 hours from the time the email is delivered to complete the additional $400 purchase to secure your Lifetime Pasta Pass.”
The Pasta Pass/Lifetime Pasta Pass can only be used by the person whose name is printed on the pass. Diners can only redeem both passes while dining in at a restaurant; they cannot be used for online or carryout orders, per Olive Garden’s website.
The news comes as reports surfaced last year that NPD Group had estimated that people in the U.S. are eating less frequently overall, which has been reducing the number of times they dine out. The numbers, as put forth by NPD Analyst David Portalatin at the time, indicated that consumers mark 1,473 “eating occasions” annually in the U.S. That tally is down 3.8 percent from 2008, when they had 1,532 occasions. If all meals and snacks are included, however, Americans still chow down four times each day.