Olive Garden to offer full-year Never Ending Pasta Pass promotion for $300
Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass promotion is back, and for year five the Italian restaurant chain is adding an annual option for $300.
Only 1,000 of the annual pasta passes will be will be sold, giving customers 52 weeks of unlimited servings of pasta, soup or salad, and breadsticks.
The Darden Restaurants Inc. DRI, -0.31% chain is bringing back the eight-week Never Ending Pasta Pass as well, with 23,000 available for $100. The deal applies for eight weeks starting Sept. 24.
Never Ending Pasta Passes will be available for purchase on Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. Eastern time, for 30 minutes. The passes have sold out in seconds in years past.
“We have the most passionate fans who look forward to Pasta Pass and Never Ending Pasta Bowl throughout the year, and they’ve made it clear that eight weeks just isn’t long enough,” said Jennifer Arguello, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden.
Customers who don’t have the pass can still purchase a bowl (or three) of unlimited pasta for $10.99.
The pasta bowl menu includes a variety of pastas that can be paired with sauces including Alfredo and creamy mushroom, and toppings like meatballs.
See: Here’s exactly what you should be eating to lose weight
Last year, Olive Garden made 50 Passport Passes available, giving those diners the opportunity to buy a week-long, all-inclusive trip to Italy for themselves and a guest for $200.
Data from The NPD Group shows that U.S. diners are eating and preparing more meals at home, with more than 80% of meals falling into the in-home category last year. However, diners are taking a short cut, using restaurant food, including dishes ordered online and meal kits, to help with preparation.
“Food service spending is up primarily because the cost of a restaurant meal is increasing faster than the cost of a home prepared meal,” according to the NPD report. “Close to half of dinners purchased from a restaurant are consumed at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a blend of dishes prepared and items purchased ready-to-eat from a food service establishment.”
Darden shares have rallied 18.7% for the year to date, outpacing the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.21% , which is up 7.1% for the period.
Source: Read Full Article