In this all-you-can-eat, dog-eat-dog and human-eat-everything era that we live in, with CiCi’s buffets that cost less than some trips to Taco Bell and Golden Corral’s fountains filled with chocolate and the boogers of children, chain restaurants have to do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the competition. Olive Garden knows this all too well, which is why the affordable faux-talian food franchise invented the annual endless pasta promotion, so that people looking to bulk up for the winter months could suck down readily available supplies of surprisingly delicious fettuccine alfredo for a very affordable price.
But even that kind of clever carb-marketing can run out of gas at some point, so Olive Garden has stepped its game up to Exclusive Status for this year’s endless pasta campaign by offering a limited amount of VIP cards. For $100, customers can purchase the Never Ending Pasta Pass, which is a card that allows people to eat all of the pasta they can imaginably stuff into their sausage holes for 49 days, from Sept. 22 to Nov. 9, as opposed to paying $9.99 each time they are seated by a depressed high school girl.
“What we’re trying to do is get some attention,” says Jay Spenchian, executive vice president of marketing. “It’s sure to provoke a reaction.”
But Spenchian says this Olive Garden promotion isn’t about gorging but about fun. “We’re trying to make our fans feel like VIPs,” he says. That’s one reason that up to seven guests who eat with the pass-holder will receive freebie Coca-Cola branded drinks, he says. (Via USA Today)
The obvious question, then, is can I share my endless bowls of pasta with those seven friends as they sip on their free sodas, and Spenchian told USA Today that it’s basically cool with him, because they won’t be “policing the tables.” However, a story like this instantly sets off my “Something dumb is about to happen in Florida” alarm, so stay tuned for the eventual story about how someone was bludgeoned with a tire iron, either because a man was told that he couldn’t feed his entire extended family with one card or someone showed up on Nov. 10 and freaked out because they “thought this card says Never Ending, man.”
The cards go on sale today at 3 PM ET and only 1,000 are available. Appropriate Homer Simpson GIFs sold separately.