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Olive Garden dusts off eat-free pass—with a sweetener

Olive Garden is set to offer another batch of all-you-can-eat passes for sale on the internet tomorrow, a bargain that netted the chain $2.1 million in one second last year.

The take this year stands to be even higher, with 22,000 eight-week passes offered for $100 each, an offer that will likely translate into an instant sales pop of more than $2.2 million.

Consumers who manage to land one of the passes will be entitled to unlimited servings of pasta anytime they visit an Olive Garden over an eight-week stretch. Customers could come for lunch, fill up, and then come back for dinner for another unlimited meal, as one customer reportedly did every day after buying a pass in 2016’s offering.

Although the offer has been hugely popular, the Darden Restaurants chain is sweetening this year's deal. Buyers of 50 passes will also be offered a two-person tour of Italy for another $100 on a first-come, first-served basis.  The fee covers airfare, meals, hotels and excursions for eight days and seven nights, with visits to at least four cities included on the schedule.

The Never Ending Pasta Pass will be accepted at Olive Gardens from Sept. 25 through Nov. 19, usually a slow period for casual-dining restaurants.

Sale of the passes will begin Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. ET and last for 30 minutes or until the supply is depleted. The nontransferable passes will be sold exclusively through Olive Garden’s website.

 

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