After years of writing about local restaurants, one thing is clear: Fresno loves Olive Garden.
The crowds waiting outside the Clovis location every weekend were the first clue.
The Bee’s story about Fresno getting its own Olive Garden at the Marketplace at El Paseo was the second clue. Would you believe the story saying it’s coming was this reporter’s second-most read story of the year?
And now it turns out California was the state to buy the most never-ending pasta passes sold by Olive Garden earlier this month. All 22,000 of the $100 passes sold out in one second – earning Olive Garden a cool $2.2 million. The passes give customers unlimited amounts of pasta (along with Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks) for eight weeks during fall.
If you look at the map of where people bought the passes, you can see a medium-size splotch right about where Fresno is. There are certainly bigger splotches where more people bought them, but likely because those places have bigger populations.
So, how many Fresnans do you think sat at their computers, fingers hovering over the mouse at just the right moment with visions of creamy fettucine alfredo dancing in their heads?