Matt Tribe, of Ogden, Utah, was one of the lucky 1,000 people who managed to purchase a promotional “Never Ending Pasta Pass” from the Olive Garden Italian restaurant chain for $100. It entitled the bearer to all-you-can-eat pasta meals, complete with sides and a drink, for seven weeks.
As reported in an article at Consumerist.com, people who scored one of these passes used them for everything from stuffing their own bellies to making a quick (and illegal) profit by selling them for several times what they paid.
Not Matt Tribe.
Yes, he did use his Pasta Pass on himself fourteen times.
But after checking with Olive Garden’s customer relations department to make sure he could use it for take-out, he did something very different with his Pasta Pass:
He used it to give meals to 125 random friends, family members, acquaintances, and total strangers, including a number of homeless people.
Naturally, his Random Acts of Pasta video went viral. And naturally, there were grinchy naysayers who claimed that it was all just a hoax and an Olive Garden publicity stunt. But as reported at People.com, Olive Garden itself has stated that its only role was to sell him the Pasta Pass and happily fulfill his orders—which aligned with Olive Garden’s own program of donating food to local food banks.
Yes, of course, Olive Garden got some great publicity.
But more than that, Matt Tribe experienced the joy of devoting several weeks of his life to doing good deeds for over 100 people. And over 100 people enjoyed being on the receiving end of a Random Act of Pasta.
Check out Tribe’s own telling of the story at www.randomactsofpasta.com.
Random Acts of Pasta: The Video
Here are Matt Tribe’s closing words from www.randomactsofpasta.com:
After thousands of miles and hundreds of hours, Random Acts of Pasta was one of the most fun and fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Perhaps it’s because I live a very boring and uneventful life, and doing anything is better than the alternative, or perhaps it’s because during the time I was doing Random Acts of Pasta, the only thing on my mind was who I was going to take pasta to. Just imagine how cool it would be if everyone did something like this in their life. Obviously not everyone has a pasta pass or has the time to do something of this scale, but what if everyone spent a couple days a month just doing something nice for someone else? One thing I can tell you for sure, is that you, as a person, would be much happier. Don’t believe me? Just try it.