The highly coveted Olive Garden Pasta Pass is back in 2019 with a twist: In addition to the usual pasta pass, which gives you unlimited pasta dishes for nine weeks, Olive Garden is offering a select few customers the chance to buy a LIFETIME pasta pass.
That's right: Some lucky Olive Garden patrons will have the opportunity to buy a lifetime's worth of pasta. Whereas the usual Olive Garden pasta pass costs $100, the lifetime Olive Garden pass will cost $500. But for the right customers, $500 is a small price to pay to get unlimited Olive Garden pasta for the rest of their lives.
Here's everything else you need to know about Olive Garden pasta passes, including when they go on sale, what's included, and who is eligible for the lifetime pass.
When Does the Olive Garden Pasta Pass Go on Sale?
The 2019 edition of the Olive Garden Pasta Pass — officially called the Never Ending Pasta Pass — goes on sale at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 15. For a chance to buy one, you can go to the waiting room at PastaPass.com and sign on as early as 1:55 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Olive Garden pasta passes will be on sale for 30 minutes or until they sell out all 24,000 passes available this year. And they'll probably sell out long before that half-hour window ends. In 2017, Olive Garden reportedly sold out all 22,000 of its $100 pasta passes in less than one second
How Can You Buy an Olive Garden Lifetime Pasta Pass?
The first 50 people to complete their purchase of a regular Olive Garden unlimited pasta pass will receive a message from Olive Garden asking if they'd like to upgrade to a lifetime pasta pass. It costs $500 plus tax, and it allows the holder to receive all of the usual benefits of the Olive Garden pasta pass every day, for as long as you're alive.
Olive Garden will alert you by Friday, August 16, if you are eligible to buy a lifetime pasta pass.
What's Included With an Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Pass?
With an Olive Garden pasta pass, you can get unlimited servings from the Never Ending Pasta Bowl menu, plus unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks.
If you have a standard Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Pass, it is valid every day for nine weeks in 2019 — from Monday, September 23, through Sunday, November 24. The lifetime Olive Garden pasta pass is valid from Monday, September 23, 2019, until the day you die.
Among the fine print for Olive Garden pasta passes in 2019, take note that it is good only for dine-in orders (no online or takeout orders), and drinks are not included. You also have to pay state and local tax on the original price of the pass. Tips are not included in the Olive Garden pasta pass price, and you most certainly should always tip your servers. Passes have names printed on them and are completely nontransferable.
When Did Olive Garden Begin Selling Pasta Passes?
Olive Garden pasta passes first went on sale in 2014 as something as a marketing goof, but the promotion has proved to be incredibly popular. The kinds of unlimited pasta passes have changed from year to year too.
The original $100 pasta pass sold in 2014 entitled the holder to unlimited Olive Garden pasta for only seven weeks, though unlimited Coca-Cola beverages were then included. In 2018, Olive Garden introduced an annual pasta pass, available for $300 to 1,000 customers. The big change for the 2019 version of the Olive Garden pasta pass, quite obviously, is the unprecedented arrival of the lifetime pass.
Is the Olive Garden Pasta Pass Worth It?
Naturally, whether an Olive Garden pasta pass is worth it depends on how much you use it. Some Olive Garden obsessives, who dine at Olive Garden three times a day while their passes are valid, certainly get more than their money's worth. In fact, some extreme diners save thousands of dollars using their pasta passes instead of buying dishes a la carte.
If you're more of a casual Olive Garden fan, the unlimited pasta pass may be less of a steal. Since each Olive Garden unlimited pasta meal is worth roughly $10 to $12, you'd have to use a 2019 pasta pass more than nine times for it to be worth the $100 price. So yes, the Olive Garden pasta pass is worth the money, assuming you actually want to dine at Olive Garden at least nine times during the 63 days when the pass is valid. That's once a week, and that's easily accomplished if you like Olive Garden and live near one.
For what it's worth, Olive Garden told Money.com last year that the restaurants where pasta passes were used the most included locations in Provo, Utah, Irvine, California, the Waterford Lakes area of Orlando, Florida, and Times Square in New York City.