Many restaurants already allow patrons to call ahead for seating as a way to avoid long waits when they walk through the door. While Olive Garden has never adhered to this option, the restaurant is now taking that idea and making it its own: allowing guests to check in on the web to save tables. [More]
Last year, Olive Garden put 1,000 regular and 1,000 “family” Neverending Pasta Passes up for sale, which sold out literally in one second. This year, the company is expanding the program, selling 21,000 passes. The key to this promotion isn’t the pass-holders: it’s the people they bring with them. [More]
UPDATE: That $400 price tag will include breadsticks, despite earlier reports. [More]
If you missed your chance to buy one of the 1,000 never-ending Pasta Passes from Olive Garden last year, mark your calendars… for tomorrow: the fast-casual chain says it’s bringing back the cards that entitle bearers to shove as much pasta down their gullets as they can for seven weeks. This time, friends and family can be included in the endless feast as well. [More]
The table-waiting, breadstick-hoarding board of directors over at Darden, parent company of Olive Garden, has some more extremely practical advice for its restaurants on the ground: they need to shampoo their carpets less. This is an example of an actual cost-saving measure proposed by the company’s CEO. [More]
Not even a year ago, the activist hedge-fund investors at Starboard Value were making headlines with their 300-page report criticizing Olive Garden management for being wasteful with the free breadsticks, overly generous with the salad dressing, and not selling enough booze. Since then, Starboard has ousted board members at Olive Garden parent company Darden Restaurants and replaced them with their own nominees who have ushered in menu changes like turning those breadsticks into sandwiches. In an attempt to ground the new board members’ decisions in the real world, they all got to spend an evening on the foodservice front line. [More]
Because we’re all constantly staring at one screen or another, Olive Garden is giving customers the chance to skip talking to a real person when ordering and paying by adding new tablets added to all its restaurants’ tables.
Olive Garden has never pretended to be a center of fancy cuisine or healthy eating. Its selling point isthe quantities of food available, including and especially breadsticks coated with garlic salt. Olive Garden is currently trying to rebrand itself, introducing a new logo and adding new ideas to the menu, like burgers and tapas. Is that enough to impress food snobs? Of course not. It’s Olive Garden. [More]
While most folks who managed to score an Olive Garden Pasta Pass — which gave the holder access to as much pasta from the sorta-Italian-ish restaurant chain as they could eat during a seven week span earlier this fall — used it to either test the limits of their digestive system, make a profit by selling it, or dangle it in front of our faces, one man in Utah used his Pasta Pass to help those in need of a decent meal. [More]
If something was never intended to be a contest, can you really declare someone the winner? We can’t help but wonder that in the case of a bold North Carolina man who obtained an Olive Garden Never-Ending Pasta Pass, then proceeded to use it to the full extent that the promotion allowed. This means that he ate at Olive Garden a total of 115 times in seven weeks. [More]
There were only 1,000 Neverending Pasta Passes issued in a massive Olive Garden publicity stunt, and minister in North Carolina has one of them. He’s determined to make the most of it, and as of yesterday had eaten 95 meals so far at his local Olive Garden. He calculates that he has eaten $1,510 so far during the six weeks to date. [More]
There might be fewer breadsticks in the basket next time you visit Olive Garden. Okay, fine we don’t really know if that’s true, but we do know that Darden Restaurant Inc., the parent company of the Italian restaurant, lost all of its board seats to investors turned breadstick police Starboard Value LP today. [More]
If you didn’t manage to get your paws on a Never Ending Pasta Pass to taunt us with, but still crave carbs, don’t fret. Instead, you can pay $10 and get a never-ending pasta bowl that ends after one day. You can choose between five pastas and six sauces, and add meaty toppings that start at three bucks each. Take-out is not an option. This is the 19th year of the NEPB, raising the terrifying question of what the chain plans to do next year to celebrate the 20th year of the promotion. [Olive Garden] (via Brand Eating)
It was a day like any other day. In fact, it was, and is today. The sky was bright, the sun was high in the sky and nothing was wr– oh HOLD UP. One of our readers got a neverending Pasta Pass from Olive Garden and thinks that we should be in thrall to him? Uh uh. This is a Consumeristocracy, pal.