If Willy Wonka had an Italian restaurant, it might look like Olive Garden.
Relaxed, fun, with bottomless breadsticks and an amazing array of colorful pasta sauces to choose from – a great place for family gatherings and perfect for eating out with kids.
Oh – and one more reason – Olive Garden just gave away real-life “Golden Tickets.” We’ve got some Charlie Buckets in our midst.
Starting on August 12, 24,000 “Never Ending Pasta Passes” were available online.1 These passes allow the holder to use Olive Garden as his/her personal cafeteria for a full nine weeks, with no additional charge for never ending pasta, sauce, salad and breadsticks while the period lasts.2 Basically, for $100, an Olympic pool of pasta – linguini, bow ties, macaroni, orecchetti, you name it – is yours. And don’t forget the marinara, add the alfredo. Keep those breadsticks comin’.
Those sold out in the blink of an eye. Literally. One second is all it took.
HOWEVER, there were Golden Tickets among Golden Tickets. The Holy Grail of Never Ending Pasta Passes, which fifty people who bought the regular pass were selected to receive, is the Lifetime Pasta Pass.3 Never Ending Pasta for life. You can get to Heaven early if carbs are your thing.
What’s more, the Lifetime Never Ending Pasta Pass is a $400 upgrade from the $100 nine-week pass, and a full 85% of the 24,000 who bought the regular pass said they’d be willing to pay for the upgrade! 20,400 opted in to the Lifetime Pass selection, which goes to show just how coveted and how much buzz the Lifetime Pass created.4
Olive Garden got an absolute blitz of press from this promotion – which it has done before, but without the lifetime option– including features in People, Fox, Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Delish, and plenty of local coverage state-by-state (states covered their Lifetime Pasta Pass winners as if they’d won the lottery). The Orlando Sentinel even covered a local winner who recounted a time when she could barely afford food, and said it was nice to know that if she ever found herself in that situation again, “Olive Garden [has] her back.”5 So much goodwill!
All of these winners will more than likely bring a lot of people to the restaurant who don’t have a Pasta Pass, so Olive
Garden will without a doubt be slurping up a ton of new business. The Never Ending Pasta Pass defines a #PRWIN.
As for me, I’m setting a reminder – next year those noodles are MINE!