A few weeks ago, a local news broadcast from the mid-1980s went viral on Instagram, as hundreds of thousands of people double-tapped that video of an Olive Garden’s grand opening in Minnesota. “You can get those breadsticks and a salad complimentary with an entree,” one of the anchors marveled. “All you can eat, which is really nice.”
The two broadcasters truly couldn’t believe what they were seeing, adding “you can get more and more and more” salad and breadsticks, turning a $4.25 spaghetti and meatball meal into a full-on Italian feast. Over 30 years later, Olive Garden can still serve that kind of energy – at least once a year when it announces the dates for its Never Ending Pasta Bowl.
The carb kings at Olive Garden have just revealed that Never Ending Pasta Bowl is making its triumphant return this fall, from Monday, September 25 through Sunday, November 19. The big change this year is that members of the Olive Garden eClub can enjoy an extra week of this limited-time offer; anyone who signs up for the eClub before Saturday, September 16, can start enjoying their own Never Ending orders on Monday, September 18.
The Never Ending Pasta Bowl will start at the same price point that it had last year. Each unlimited pasta combo will cost $13.99 and includes as much pasta as you can eat, along with soup or salad and those iconic Olive Garden breadsticks. For an additional $4.99, diners can add one of three Never Ending toppings: meatballs, Italian sausage, or a crispy chicken fritta.
This year’s Never Ending pasta lineup includes the choice of angel hair, fettuccine, rigatoni, or spaghetti, and each bowl can be topped with either Alfredo sauce, a made-from-scratch Creamy Mushroom sauce, Five Cheese Marinara, Traditional Marinara, or a Traditional Meat sauce.
“At a time when guests are getting less from other casual dining concepts, Olive Garden is proud to give them more of the abundant, craveable Italian food they love with our fan-favorite Never-Ending Pasta Bowl offer,” Jaime Bunker, the senior vice president of marketing at Olive Garden, said.
“With 80 different possible combinations of sauces, toppings, and pastas to choose from – plus the unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks we offer with every entrée – we’re committed to making sure every guest leaves full and satisfied and, possibly, with a new favorite pasta combination.”
Olive Garden offered its first Never Ending Pasta Bowl promo in 1995, when each bottomless bowl cost $6.95. Either way, we’re not sure those mid-80s Minnesota newscasters could’ve handled that – they’re probably still buzzing from the idea of unlimited breadsticks.