Open Post: Hosted By The Possible End Of Olive Garden’s Never-Ending Pasta Bowl

December 26, 2021 / Posted by:

I hope you’ve been having a pleasant holiday season with life, laughter, and love because I’ve got some bad news that I’m loathed to share. Olive Garden, authentic Italian eatery and second-home to Paisanos everywhere, is potentially ending its popular Never-Ending Pasta Bowl. Looks like Olive Garden is committed to the “We’re all family here” slogan. Only family would dare take away something you love without a decent explanation!

Like a new stepfather who doesn’t know his boundaries, incoming Olive Garden CEO Rick Cardenas is taking a look around and getting rid of a few things. According to news from Restaurant Business:

Incoming Darden Restaurants CEO Rick Cardenas on Friday said that the chain may not bring back the popular bottomless pasta promotion, which had been an annual offering for more than two decades and spawned additional promos like the frenzy-inducing Never-Ending Pasta Pass.

“We know [Never-Ending Pasta Bowl] was a negative impact over the years, but the profitability wasn’t as high as the guests that we’re doing today,” he said. “And so we decided to reduce the dependency on Never-Ending Pasta Bowl this year because we didn’t need to drive volume into our restaurants.”

Damn you, capitalism! Why must you always mess with perfection?! I shouldn’t be surprised that Olive Garden has investors who are interested in profits and productivity. You can’t have unlimited breadsticks without board approval.

I wonder if this move means that the OG might pivot to a more sophisticated menu. I mean if you asked me what the height of classy was when I was a child, I definitely would’ve put Olive Garden up there. Haute cuisine to me was anything better than Denny’s! I should’ve known it wasn’t when it regularly featured items on the menu that were promoted as “bottomless.” Despite the bad news, there might be a silver lining:

“As we look forward, we don’t know if we’ll bring and when we’ll bring Never-Ending Pasta Bowl back because we have a never-ending abundance every day with our never-ending first course,” Cardenas said, referencing the brand’s unlimited breadsticks.

Although we’re seeing the end of an era (RIP Never-Ending Pasta Bowl), we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief since the breadsticks have been spared. At least there’s still something to look forward to when you have to go to the Olive Garden because Outback Steakhouse is full!

Pic: Olive Garden

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