When Olive Garden announced its “Neverending Pasta Pass” earlier this fall, their website crashed as thousands clamored to fork over $100 to get unlimited forkfuls of pasta for seven weeks.
The pass was intended for one person — but one guy in Utah discovered that he could use his pass for takeout, and give the food to whoever he wanted.
Matt Tribe, 28, called his plan “Random Acts of Pasta,” and he started by surprising friends and family with fettuccine. Then began giving these hot meals to homeless in his community.
Tribe says a filmmaker friend of his suggested doing a video to inspire others, so they filmed some food deliveries and posted the edited video to YouTube, where it went viral.
But many commenters found it too good to be true, suggesting that it was all a marketing stunt by Olive Garden.
“I’ll be honest, I was kind of down,” Tribe said. “I spent so much time doing this, and people just want to write it off as if it’s fake, because no one in this world would ever do something nice like that.”
Olive Garden said they had nothing to do with Tribe’s efforts, other than selling him the pass and filling his orders. Still, many pointed to the way Tribe would repeat the name Olive Garden in the video as he handed out food. Tribe said it was just how he was acting in the moment.
“If I had known this video would go viral, I would have really tried to sound less stupid,” he said.
Credit: Bradley Blackburn