There were 1,000 Pasta Passes up for grabs for individual diners at $100 a pop and 1,000 more “family” passes for $300 each that allow bearers to bring up to three people along for unlimited pasta during the seven-week promotional window. And they were all gone in under a second.
“Never had a chance to buy a pass,” Consumerist reader Michael writes, saying he watched the countdown clock until 11 a.m. PDT and “immediately” received the message that the passes were sold out.
We confirmed with Olive Garden that the passes sold out lickety-split, with a spokeswoman telling us that at sale time, the “system allowed in the first 2,000 guests to purchase the available Pasta Passes, which occurred in less than a second.”
We’ve already heard from one reader since this post went up, who says not only did he get a Pasta Pass… he got two of them, by being a bit patient.
“I got two individual passes!” writes Consumerist reader Jeff. “I managed to get one for myself and one for my girlfriend. I did see the instantly sold-out page but a few moments later I was able to buy one.”
Rob also lucked out using the same method, and bought a Family Pass:
“The page counted down and then displayed sold out so I went back to the original page and re-clicked the link to buy and got a checkout screen,” he writes, adding, “I hope I don’t gain 20 pounds over this promotion…”
And a few people on Twitter have claimed success today:
Update: Reader Crystal, who also managed to score two passes last year, shared her method: she and her husband had four browser windows open at the appointed time across multiple devices.
Tim reloaded and saw family passes available at 2:17 PM, which is likely after other aspiring pass-buyers had given up.
“It would be a better value if we were closer than 45 minutes from the restaurant though,” he writes. “I’ll have to get creative on best ways to maximize usage without blowing a ton of cash in gas.” To-go meals will probably factor into his plans.
Those who were left bereft did get a coupon for 10% off any adult entrée at Olive Garden, the rep added, noting that there’s still hope — if you feel like engaging with the brand on social media: “Guests can follow Olive Garden’s social media channels where we’ll be giving away Pasta Passes.”
Were you one of the 2,000? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just don’t go power mad and try to make the Consumerist team your vassals. That’s already been tried and it didn’t work.