(USATODAY) — Olive Garden is about to try a pretty outlandish gimmick to lure folks in the door: pasta up the kazoo.
They're not calling it that, of course But on Monday, the casual dining chain whose business has seriously-softened in recent years, will announce plans for its first-ever "Never Ending Pasta Pass" -- which, for $100, gives the holder the right to consume all of the pasta, salad, bread and Coca-Cola branded soft drinks that they can stuff down for seven weeks.
But you may need to act fast. Only 1,000 of these pasta passes will be sold -- beginning Monday at 3 p.m. ET -- online via the Olive Garden web site. Nothing like being one of 1,000 VIP's who can gorge on pasta for 49 days in a row. The PR stunt piggybacks with the chain's annual "Never Ending Pasta Bowl" promo, Sept. 22 through Nov. 9., which lets folks eat all the pasta they want for $9.99.
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"What we're trying to do is get some attention," says Jay Spenchian, executive vice president of marketing. "It's sure to provoke a reaction."