That’s right, for seven straight weeks the one-off payment of $100 will allow you to get unlimited pasta, breadsticks, salad and soft drinks.The company, which effectively equates to the US version of our very own Pizza Express, decided to offer something unique to combat the intense competition found in the casual dining space. Most recently launched in September, there were 2,000 passes up for grabs – with 1,000 of those meaning a purchaser could take their entire family along for the filling meal for $300. Rather predictably, the Olive Garden website crashed under intense traffic pressure when the promotion first ran in 2014. The return of the “Pasta Pass” came about due to the considerable publicity Olive Garden achieved last year. While the company will undoubtedly take a hit on the 2,000 people that snap up the passes, it’s hoped that the social media fervour crated will more than offset. Jose Duenas, executive vice president of marketing at Olive Garden, said the media attention the passes generated last year was an “affirmation” that people still have strong feelings for the chain. “We see it as a manifestation of Italian generosity,” he added. In the UK we have yet to see a British brand offer this kind of generosity, but have been moving toward a more US-style of menu – with a growing trend of all you can eat packages. To top that, it has become rather trendy to book yourself in for an all you can eat (and drink) breakfast – sweet or savoury morning dishes washed down with endless Prosecco or cocktails.
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