It’s déjà vu all over Olive Garden again. A year ago, Olive Garden unveiled the first-ever Neverending Pasta Pass, an unprecedented product that granted its holder unlimited pasta, breadsticks, salad or soup, and Coca-Cola fountain beverages for seven weeks. The 1,000 passes made available last fall sold out in minutes online, and given the high demand, opportunistic sellers were able to resell the passes on eBay for easy profits.
Last week marked the return of Olive Garden’s pasta passes—a $100 one-person pass just like last year, as well as a $300 pass good for the passholder and three guests, valid from October 5 to November 22. This time, the passes sold out even quicker, reportedly in less than one second.
That means plenty of aspiring Neverending Pasta Pass holders have been feeling left out. Unsurprisingly, some of them are turning to eBay to buy the pass from a third-party seller that they couldn’t purchase directly from Olive Garden.
As of Monday morning, there were only a handful of pasta passes listed for sale at the site, and the limited number of options available seemed to be working in the favor of sellers. In one auction for an individual pass, bids had pushed the price up to $310, and the auction isn’t closing for a couple more days. The bidding for one family pass, meanwhile, was up over $600. Other sellers were listing passes at “Buy It Now” prices such as $595 for an individual, and $1,200 for a family of four—for passes that originally sold for $100 and $300, respectively, remember.
What might be lost in the desperate quest to get one’s hands on these elusive passes is what it’s actually like to have one, which means eating at Olive Garden multiple times every day for seven weeks straight. Last year’s passholders were occasionally overwhelmed and disgusted by the experience. One user jokingly compared the pass to the Ring of Power from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: “immensely powerful, yes, but dangerous and probably better off destroyed.”