Today the Olive Garden is launching its latest marketing ploy to win back customers — the “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” promotion — joining the ranks of TGI Fridays’ “Endless Appetizers” and Red Lobster’s “Endless Shrimp.” Am I the only one who is sick and tired of restaurant chains telling us to never stop eating?
This year the Olive Garden is offering 1,000 passes for $100 each that would allow the pass holder to enjoy as much pasta as they can stuff into their face for the duration of the promotion, which lasts from Sept. 22 to Nov. 9. That’s seven weeks!
Seven weeks of having pasta for lunch, pasta for dinner — pasta anytime you want. Add to that the restaurant’s typical unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, plus unlimited Coca-Cola-branded soft drinks for pass holders (and their friends). I don’t know about you, but I could definitely eat pasta every day. I could maybe even eat pasta twice a day. But endlessly? Not only is this a ridiculous marketing gimmick, but it’s also just plain dangerous to our health.
There’s no denying that we have a serious health issue in this country. As someone who’s lost a lot of weight, trust me, I know. Sure, sometimes it’s fun and exciting to see a bacon-and-cheese-stuffed pizza or a kickball that makes ice cream, but endless pasta for seven weeks is where we have to draw the line.
To all of the Olive Gardens, TGI Fridays and Red Lobsters of the world, I’m here to say that enough is enough. If you want to serve shrimp to your customers, then just serve shrimp. Stop encouraging us to eat, eat and eat some more. My waistline sure couldn’t handle it, and neither should yours.
Let’s all do ourselves a favor and stick to a little moderation, shall we?