Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Bowl Is Back With A Big Change

Olive Garden fans rejoice! The Italian-American chain has announced that it will bring back one of its most popular promotions ever next week. The Takeout reports that Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Bowl will make a return starting Monday, October 3.

According to Today, Olive Garden first launched the limited-time promotion in 1995, which allowed customers to have unlimited servings of their chosen pasta, sauce, and toppings for just $6.95. The promotion would go on to return for limited periods each year and grew increasingly popular.

Today says that in 2014 the promotion turned into a "season pass," which let customers indulge as many times as they wanted over the course of seven weeks for a base cost of $100. The passes were hot commodities each year, quickly selling out to the disappointment of fans even as their supplies increased. The chain continued to occasionally offer the Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion for shorter amounts of time to those who weren't lucky enough to snag a season pass.

Insider notes that the promotion was last held in 2019 in a possible attempt to boost slumping sales. During a 2021 earnings call, Olive Garden CEO Ricardo Cardenas cast some doubt on whether the Never Ending Pasta Bowl would return, stating that the company has seen strong sales and is less dependent on these types of promotions to bring in customers. Luckily for Olive Garden fans that prediction proved incorrect, though there is a catch to the returning deal.

Never Ending Pasta returns at a higher price

Despite Cardenas' claims, Olive Garden recently started dropping some less than subtle hints on TikTok. The chain has since confirmed many fans' suspicions and officially announced the deal's return, per The Takeout. Customers will be able to order as many servings of pasta as they want for a single price anytime between October 3 and November 20 at all Olive Garden locations.

The Takeout notes that this deal is returning with one caveat though: Never Ending Pasta Bowls are now more expensive. Back in 2019, the promotion cost $10.99; it will now be priced at $13.99 with an extra $4.99 charge for toppings. It's likely the current inflationary food market may have contributed to this price increase. According to CBS News, wheat-based foods like breadsticks and pasta have been some of the most affected food items by the war in Ukraine and resulting price hikes.

Even with the price increase, the Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion is still a fairly good deal. At just $19 for any pasta you like — and with prices hovering between $12 and $20 per bowl regularly, depending on what you order — you're saving money if you are able to eat more than one.