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09/17/15

Pasta bilities: Is Olive Garden's Pasta Pass sending wrong message?

The obesity epidemic isn't going away any time soon as more than 50% of the population is considered overweight and about 30% obese, numbers that are nothing short of staggering as it relates to expanding waistlines and no real end in sight.
That's why when you hear about an restaurant that is fighting the good fight, such as Subway and their low fat menu, you tend to think that some companies and organizations get it.
Then, you have others that aren't so much interested in serving healthy foods or even offering alternatives but rather have no problem dumping truck loads of foods in the laps of the consumer who is getting heavier by the minute.
Case in point: the Olive Garden's "Pasta Pass."
This trite, ridiculous idea allows customers who already can't get enough unlimited pasta dishes on their own, along with bread, soup or salad, to indulge in as much pasta, bread and soda their tummies can tolerate in an seven week span. In order for the money to matter as far as the $100 being worth the while on customers, you'd have to eat their 11 times in order to make sure you didn't waste money on an idea and product that sounded better in theory.

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The truth is, Olive Garden is capitalizing on the every growing population, literally, and their propensity to put food at the top of their to do lists, with little regard for trying to eat healthy. The never ending pasta parade is just another example of the kind of excess that is making the entire country struggle to fit into their skinny jeans and tip the scales one year after the next.
Granted, you can't put all the blame on the Olive Garden, either. They see an opportunity and as a business they strike when revenue is there, and realize that the buffet style mentality for food trumps all.
Popping down a $100 bill and stuffing your face with pasta, bread and soda sounds more like business as usual for not only Olive Garden but society as a whole who believes that they can snag a meal quickly and efficiently, regardless of whether or not it is healthy.
The Olive Garden buy in isn't so much healthy as it is a promotion and celebration of excess, which is exactly what doesn't need promoted in today's world of fast food, larger portions and the general public not being able to press the pause (or stop) button as it relates to food.
Whether or not the Pasta Pass is going to be a success remains to be seen, but chances are if history dictates anything or trends matter, Olive Garden is going to be quite happy with passing out as much pasta as possible.

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