Turns out that a seven-week, all-you-can-eat pasta binge is more desirable than even Olive Garden may have realized.
The chain of Italian eateries sold all 1,000 of its Never Ending Pasta Passes in a little over an hour on Monday, and now some of those carb-hungry cardholders are creating a secondary market by offering up the passes for sale on eBay (EBAY). Almost 50 of the Olive Garden passes could be found for sale on the online marketplace Wednesday afternoon, with many of them listed for far more than the $100 paid by the lucky few who scored the cards through the company’s website earlier this week.
In one case an individual pass was being offered for $399, with the seller heralding the deal as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to gorge on unlimited pasta, salad, breadsticks and Coca-Cola drinks between September 22 and November 9 at any U.S. Olive Garden location. Another seller listed two passes on sale for a total of $490 while others were put up for auction with the bidding starting at the $100 base price.
Unfortunately for prospective buyers, though, Olive Garden and its parent company Darden (DRI) are saying that the personalized passes – which have not yet been shipped – are non-transferable. “The Never Ending Pasta Passes are personalized and state that they’re non-transferable and not for resale, and we’re working with eBay to make sure buyers and sellers are aware of this,” Tara Gray, a Darden spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Of course, the chain also understands that the promotion has obviously struck a chord in the pasta-loving hearts of its customers and the company will not necessarily turn its back on anyone who buys a resold pass. Gray added that “hospitality is core to who we are, which is why we’ll work with anyone who’s purchased a pass on eBay to ensure they enjoy Never Ending Pasta Bowl.” She says that anyone who has bought a pasta pass on eBay should reach out to Darden and the Olive Garden directly, either on the phone or via social media.
For anyone else hoping to score seven weeks of all-you-can-eat pasta, the company has also said it will be giving away more passes through social media in the coming weeks.