Olive Garden could get rid of that endless menu item for good

Olive Garden has long nurtured and attracted diners with its renowned specialty which includes all-you-can-eat Italian salad, soup, and warm garlic breadsticks with any main course.

Chet Strange / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chet Strange / Bloomberg via Getty Images

It would make sense to assume that Olive Garden’s loyal customer is a fan of unlimited food, a concept that seems archaic in the American food landscape where so many chains and restaurants are turning to health-focused offerings.

Thus was born the Endless Pasta Bowl from Olive Garden, an annual promotion that last ran in 2019 that offered interested customers unlimited portions of pasta with sauces and toppings. selected from the low price of $ 10.99.

The chain also offered a limited number of fans to pay $ 100 for unlimited pasta for nine weeks and an even smaller subset to pay $ 400 for unlimited pasta for life.

Thanks to closures and regulations linked to the pandemic, the in-store promotion for one-time diners hasn’t worked – and according to the CEO of the chain’s parent company, it looks like it might not return at all.

“We know [the Never-Ending Pasta promotion] has had a negative impact over the years, but the profitability was not as high as the number of clients we receive today, ”said Darden Restaurants CEO Rick Cardenas. “So we decided to reduce the reliance on the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl this year because we didn’t need to generate volume in our restaurants. “

Olive Garden currently manages around 879 sites, with 28% of its business derived from take out orders during the company’s last quarter. Comparable store sales during the same period also increased 5% year over year.

“As we look ahead we don’t know if we’ll bring and when we’ll bring back the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl because we have endless abundance each day with our endless first course,” Cardenas said, nodding. head to the chain’s branded offerings.

Darden Restaurants is also the parent company of LongHorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster chains.

The company was standing 27.64% year over year on Tuesday morning.

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