The menu at Olive Garden isn't limited to constructs like serving sizes. The soups, salads, breadsticks, and pasta bowls there flow freely, and once a year, the Italian-inspired restaurant chain takes this generosity one step further. As MarketWatch reports, the Never Ending Pasta Pass from Olive Garden is back, and this year, select customers will have the opportunity to upgrade to a lifetime option.
Olive Garden introduced its Never Ending Pasta Pass in 2014, and shortly after the special offer became available, buyers crashed the website. The passes have promptly sold out every year since, and it's not unusual to see them reselling on eBay for multiple times the original price.
The Never Ending Pasta Pass costs $100, and it's good for unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks and unlimited pastas and sauces from Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl menu from September 23 to November 24. This year, Olive Garden fans looking for a pasta pass that's truly never-ending can extend the offer for a few hundred dollars extra. For $500, patrons can purchase a lifetime pass that grants them all the unlimited items mentioned above with no expiration date. Both passes can only be used by the person whose name appears on the card.
On Thursday, August 15 at 2 p.m. ET, 24,000 of the nine-week pasta passes will go on sale at Olive Garden's website. The pass has sold out in seconds in past years, so the company recommends getting to a computer at least five minutes before sale time to increase your chances of snagging one. The lifetime pass is even more exclusive: The $400 upgrade will only be offered to the first 50 people who buy the $100 pass. After they receive the email letting them know they're eligible, they will have just 48 hours to respond. If any of the first 50 people decline, Olive Garden will extend the offer to the next early buyer in line.
Olive Garden's unlimited options may be the chain's M.O., but they can be a headache for employees. The servers providing all those refills and second servings are often making a only single dish's worth of cash—so if you're lucky enough to secure a Never Ending Pasta Pass, remember to tip well.