Olive Garden offers $500 "lifetime pasta passes"

Olive Garden logo with Italian food background / (MGN)

(CBS)- Olive Garden is offering a limited number of customers unlimited pasta for life for a fraction of the cost of a trip to Italy.

Fifty foodies can buy a "Lifetime Pasta Pass" for $500 each beginning Thursday at 2 p.m.

It's also offering its annual $100 "Never Ending Pasta Pass" that lets customers eat what they want for nine weeks, up from eight weeks last year. It includes unlimited helpings of pastas, sauces and toppings from the restaurant chain's "Never Ending Pasta Bowl" menu, as well as unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks.

The family-style eatery is billing the lifetime pass as an upgrade to its regular unlimited pass. The first 50 pass holders will have the option to upgrade to the lifetime offering for an additional $400 plus tax.

A Never Ending Pasta Bowl usually costs $10.99, meaning that the lifetime pass will pay for itself after 45 helpings.

The Darden Restaurants-owned chain warns that it expects the passes to sell out quickly, and advises enthusiasts to join an online waiting room five minutes before the deals begin.

In 2017, the passes sold out in one second. For never-ending pass holders, the nine weeks begin Sept. 23 and end Nov. 24.