While pasta is not hard to come upon in our daily lives, Olive Garden’s annual Pasta Pass has once again appeared and disappeared in a flash. The restaurant offered 22,000 of its regular $100 Pasta Pass cards this year, offering “Eight weeks of unlimited servings of pastas, sauces and toppings from the Never Ending Pasta Bowl menu” according to the official site, but that wasn’t all. Olive Garden also offered 50 special passes for $200 that included a special all-inclusive vacation to Italy from April 7 – 14 2018 on top of the 8 weeks of unlimited pasta.
The $200 Italian vacation for two clearly sounded like a great deal for many, leaving it to sell out almost immediately alongside the 22,000 regular passes according to Eater:
The passes went on sale Thursday, September 14 at 2 p.m. EST at PastaPass.com. The chain planned to keep the sale going for 30 minutes, but just as with last year the passes sold out in literally one second. This year the chain sold 1,000 more passes than it did last year, 22,000 in all.
While the passes selling out “in one second” sounds like a bit of PR magic, they are truly sold old on the official site. The only problem here is that not all the purchases seemed to go smoothly and some folks were left in pasta limbo thanks to an error in Olive Garden’s cart:
Olive Garden’s Twitter account was apparently flooded with complaints about the mishaps, but seemed to be ready to make sure everybody that bought a pass got a pass in the end. They are personalized and cannot be transferred, after all, meaning that some bot or phony account can’t buy all of the passes and then sell them on eBay. Once you own a Pasta Pass, it is your Pasta Pass until the following year. The memories on the other hand, those are forever.