Olive Garden's Pasta Pass Saga: How Did Twitter React?
Darden Restaurants, Inc.'s (NYSE: DRI) Olive Garden appealed to the stomachs of pasta-lovers everywhere last week when it unveiled the "Never Ending Pasta Pass."
The passes, which allow users to eat unlimited pasta, breadsticks, soup, salad and Coca-Cola for the seven-week period between September 22 and November 9, cost $100 and were limited to 1,000 customers. They sold out within an hour.
That's understandable, given the size of Olive Garden's customer base -- it makes more than $3 billion in sales a year -- and the relative cheapness of the pass.
So what did social media users think of the deal? On Twitter, many were happy:
100 dollars for a vip Olive Garden spaghetti never ending pasta pass. For 7 weeks. XD
— Chris (@SonicQuick) September 9, 2014
— danprimack (@danprimack) September 8, 2014
Can't stop thinking about that never ending pasta pass thing from @olivegarden...
— Pepper (@peppertheDJ) September 9, 2014
I'm so tempted to buy that Never Ending Pasta Pass from Olive Garden..
— Derek Wilson (@_DerekWilson_) September 10, 2014
A few were even mad they didn't get a pass:
— Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) September 8, 2014
#pastapass was a scam! The site crashed when I tried to buy mine. I'm never setting foot in Olive Garden again. Who will join in my crusade?
— Ryan Scanlon (@rscandalous) September 8, 2014
— Jennifer Lynn (@crazyjenn17) September 9, 2014
Others...not so much:
— Neil Morris (@ByNeilMorris) September 8, 2014
Olive Garden's never ending pasta pass for $100. Makes me wanna choke thinking about it. http://t.co/B0iYNKzNwy
— Julia La Roche (@SallyPancakes) September 8, 2014
If you're looking for ways to hate yourself for 7 weeks, it turns out the Olive Garden is offering a $100, 7 week, “Never Ending Pasta Pass”
— Yoni Freedhoff, M.D. (@YoniFreedhoff) September 8, 2014
How to become obese and diabetic in just 7 weeks: Olive Garden announces 'Never Ending Pasta Pass' for $100... http://t.co/xGuDgFAmku
— Julie Anne (@jpaint) September 9, 2014
The people who purchase the unlimited pasta for 7 full weeks at Olive Garden should be put in a zoo
— ComfortablySmug (@ComfortablySmug) September 8, 2014
When the passes began selling on the secondary market for higher prices, that's when things really got crazy:
Oh man. Olive Garden website says that #PastaPass can't be transferred but people are selling them already eBay. Hoping this blows up.
— Mandy Cagle (@mandycagle) September 8, 2014
Who cares about USD/JPY? Olive Garden Endless Pasta Pass trading at $227.50 in the secondary market. #Ebay
— Reinman_MT (@reinman_mt) September 9, 2014
People with the $100 all-you-can-eat pasta pass from Olive Garden are now selling the passes on eBay for $400. America, you never disappoint
— Rascal Gas (@rascalgas) September 8, 2014
Two never ending pasta passes for $500 is still a “bargain” if you eat there almost every day i guess http://t.co/OHSLUFDniR
— Veronica de Souza (@HeyVeronica) September 8, 2014
At least Olive Garden has turned it into a marketing opportunity:
— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) September 11, 2014
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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