Mark your calendar, because Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass is coming back on August 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. The American-Italian restaurant chain teased the news in a post shared to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but apparently there’s more to the cryptic message.
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Last year, OG similarly teased a major announcement with a mysterious countdown clock on its website. The big reveal was a scavenger hunt for 10 Annual Pasta Passes that were hidden around social media. This time around, fans are being asked to decipher the secret meaning to a series of photos.
Well, well, well… What do we have here? Looks like we’re in some sort of office eating breadsticks, salad and spaghetti and meatballs with a nice, cold Coca-Cola. August 15 is circled on the wall calendar, the clock reads 2 p.m. and the calculator reads 24,000 — the date, time and number of people who will get their hands on this year’s Pasta Pass.
Here are some other clues: a message on the computer that reads “Olive Garden’s Pasta Pass is back and bigger than ever with the introduction of the first-ever…,” University of Central Florida memorabilia, a tic-tac-toe board, pasta art, a guitar and pictures of Post Malone and Jimmy Fallon (who famously went on a televised Olive Garden date).
The most important hint (or what we think is the most important hint, at least) is the surplus of items that read “say when.” The sticky note on the calendar says, “Hi! Stopped by to [check mark] on ‘say when.’ Call me when you’re back! — MB.” There’s an email address (“TeamSayWhen@olivegarden.com”) on the computer screen and a Spotify playlist dubbed “[cheese emoji] Say When,” featuring songs by Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige, Katy Perry and more.
We’re not detectives (though we are huge fans of Nancy Drew), but our best guess is that this “big surprise” has something to do with music — but we’ll leave the real sleuthing to you. Here are some other guesses from fans around the web:
To get your Pasta Pass, visit olivegarden.com/pastapass on Thursday, August 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. $100 will get you as much pasta as you could possibly imagine during specific dates that have not been announced yet, but “will be similar to years past,” an Olive Garden spokesperson told The Daily Meal.
In 2018, the promotion sold out in one second (yes, literally) and was good for eight weeks. So basically, if you only go once a week, you’re cashing out at $12.50 per visit. If you go every day, you’ve got a one-way ticket to carb country for just $1.79 per visit. If you don’t get your hands on unlimited noodles slopped with sauce, better luck next time. Reward yourself for trying by diving headfirst into the best pasta dish in your state.