Olive Garden Never-Ending Pasta Pass

Breaking Down This Good Deal

Olive Garden Never-Ending Pasta Pass
September 14, 2016

Imagine an online offer for a restaurant chain that is so tempting it sells out in one second. That actually happened with the return of the Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass.

The original Never-Ending Pasta Pass in 2014 was so popular that it crashed Olive Garden's website, and the passes sold out within 45 minutes. In 2015, with improved website capabilities, the 2,000 passes sold out in one second after going on sale. This year, Olive Garden will release more than 21,000 passes at 1:30pm ET on Thursday, September 15th, 2016 — over ten times more passes than last year.

What makes this deal so popular? For one thing, it is a spectacular deal for regular patrons of the Olive Garden. In essence, it is the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl extended over multiple visits for a limited period of time — unlimited pasta bowls spread out over seven weeks.

There are two types of Never Ending Pasta Passes. For $100, the same price as previous years, the Individual Pass entitles the pass holder to unlimited bowls of pasta, salad or soup, and Coke-branded soft drinks over a seven-week period (October 3rd through November 20th). The average individual would only have to eat at the Olive Garden eight or nine times to get their money's worth. Other dining guests do not receive the offer and are rung up on separate tickets, but they do receive free soft drinks. Even gluten-free pasta is included in the deal. Drinks aside from Coke-branded soft drinks or unflavored iced tea are not included in the Never Ending Pasta Pass, nor are gratuities.

It seems that the Family Pass offered in previous years, which cost $300 and entitled the pass holder plus three guests to the same deal, will not be available in 2016. Another change in this year's deal is that you can only redeem your pass for dine-in meals. Last year, you were able to redeem your pass for take-out meals up to two times per day, and receive one pasta portion per person along with breadsticks, soup or salad, and a soft drink.

It's possible to dine multiple times a week and save hundreds of dollars over the course of seven weeks — although you may need to buy a new wardrobe after realizing that your clothes do not fit anymore — so it is no surprise that the passes are popular. It is also no surprise that the supply is limited. While you may have 21,000 chances at buying a pass, they will only be on sale for an hour — or until they sell out.

The lucky few who manage to purchase a pass will receive their pass in the mail as a personalized, non-transferable card to be presented upon ordering. As with any scarce and valuable item, Pasta Passes show up on eBay or Craigslist periodically. However, if you choose to buy one anywhere outside the Olive Garden website, you do so at your own risk. Olive Garden reserves the right to check identification. If you cannot produce ID, the restaurant may not allow you to redeem the pass.

If your mouse was not fast enough last year or you did not even know about the promotion until it was too late, this year you have another chance, so bookmark their promotional page on the Olive Garden website. Immediately following the sale, Olive Garden will auction an additional 21 Pasta Passes. All proceeds of the auction will go to Feeding America®, a hunger relief organization.

In the worst case, if you miss out on this year's Pasta Pass promotion, you can take solace in the fact that you can still eat at the Olive Garden as a periodic treat, and that your clothes still fit.

Photo ©iStock.com/jetcityimage

  Conversation   |   35 Comments

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Erin | 10.05.15 @ 13:58
I never even knew this pass existed. I guess I need to get out more, but that would be a lot of eating out to make it worth it.
Debbie | 10.05.15 @ 13:59
I don't think anyone should eat out that often. In our house its a treat, Home cooked meals are so much more economical and healthy
Steffanie | 10.05.15 @ 14:00
I have never heard of this, but don't eat there often enough for it to be worth it.
Daniel | 10.05.15 @ 14:03
I am not sure I go out to eat there enough for this to be worth it but I do like never ending pasta so this is something great to keep in mind. Could make a nice gift.
Nancy | 10.05.15 @ 14:03
That doesn't even sound good to me. My daughter tried for it though.
Sarah | 10.05.15 @ 14:04
Well... that is very interesting.
Kathryn | 10.05.15 @ 14:05
As much as I love Olive Garden I will need to have some variety in my food. I can't eat the same thing over and over. Plus.. The closest Olive Garden is maybe 3 hours away?
Jonathan | 10.05.15 @ 14:06
I dunno the cost, but if you frequent this place it could be a great deal.
Elaine | 10.05.15 @ 14:07
Wow it is a shame that I wasn't aware of this pass. Hubs would have loved it.
irene | 10.05.15 @ 14:09
The thing is, how much pasta can one person really eat? Plus it is so cheap to just make it at home if you want it that bad.
Sara | 10.05.15 @ 14:11
You know I would have loved the pass.... Except for the fact that Olive Garden is about an hour away. And soup, salad, breadsticks and pasta would get old fast. Though if you frequent the place it could be a nice thing.
Angie | 10.05.15 @ 14:11
I didn't know about this promo either - I think I'd have a hard time getting my money's worth as I probably wouldn't go often enough.
Meredith L | 10.05.15 @ 14:13
I do not think this kind of promotion is healthy on any level. You have people who take advantage of the system, overeaters, people looking to make an extra buck and then the restaurant is overwhelmed, as you've read here. It would be like selling a pint of beer for 5 cents. Imagine the rush...but at what cost?
Jackie | 10.05.15 @ 14:14
Never ending pasta wouldn't be a good deal for me. I like lots of variety in the foods I eat.
Owen | 10.05.15 @ 14:17
It is a great deal when you eat there a lot
Kate | 10.05.15 @ 14:19
That is a lot of pasta that a person would need to eat to make it worth the cost. We don't eat out much. It is considered a special occasion to go out and eat. I have three kids so by the time we pay for all five of us its just way to expensive..
Kate | 10.05.15 @ 14:19
That is a lot of pasta that a person would need to eat to make it worth the cost. We don't eat out much. It is considered a special occasion to go out and eat. I have three kids so by the time we pay for all five of us its just way too expensive..
Leah | 10.05.15 @ 14:19
Love me some Olive Garden pasta. I can never eat more than a bowl though.
Beverly | 10.05.15 @ 14:22
I remember when they did the pass, I only wished I lived closer so I could have taken advantage of it.
Courtney | 10.05.15 @ 14:30
I don't remember them ever doing the pass... but I love the never ending pasta bowl!
Amanda | 10.05.15 @ 14:32
We love Olive Garden but this is just too much ,no way could we ever eat enough to make the cost worth it, or would want to. I can barely eat half of a small portion, so most would be wasted. Then you have the can you really eat that much pasta all the time. I would grow sick of it very quickly.
steven | 10.05.15 @ 14:33
I guess the pass would be beneficial if you eat pasta quite a bit. Especially the take out portion. Because then you could do that and take it and split it with family.
Carla | 10.05.15 @ 14:40
This sounds like an awesome deal if you were one of the lucky few to get it.
Tina | 10.05.15 @ 14:51
I certainly don't eat out enough to make it a good deal, but kudos to those who got to experience it!
Wanda Langley | 10.05.15 @ 14:55
I love Olive Garden but not enough to buy one of these passes. I eat there maybe 4-5 times a year.
Heather | 10.05.15 @ 14:57
I cannot believe it sold out that fast. I guess if you would eat there enough to make it with it it would be a great deal. I love the OG but I don't think I'd we t to eat it everyday of that promotion.
Britt | 10.05.15 @ 14:59
I have actually wanted one of these REALLY bad
Bobbie | 10.05.15 @ 15:03
I remember a news story from 2014 where one guy used his pass to help feed the hungry. I love Olive Garden, but not enough for an unlimited pass. I'd get tired of the food after a short amount of time.
Chrisitna | 10.05.15 @ 15:08
I think this is crazy! Who needs to eat that much pasta!????
Kamie | 10.05.15 @ 15:11
I could have made this pass worth it. LOL! One way or another, but I also would need the $100 to spend.
Rychana | 10.05.15 @ 15:21
I got the email from Olive Garden telling me about this offer. I'm not sure I would eat enough pasta to make it worth the money.
Kyle | 10.05.15 @ 15:28
I want one of these oh so bad
Jo Ann | 10.05.15 @ 15:35
George | 10.05.15 @ 15:44
I don't care much for Olive Garden. This is not worth all that.
Jill | 10.05.15 @ 15:45
i have not heard of this before! I love OG! I would love to get in on this next time!
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.19.19 @ 20:58