New Year's Eve revelers who choose to celebrate at the Times Square branch of Olive Garden are in for a hefty dose of sticker shock. Unbelievable as it may sound, tickets are going for $400 a head at the fast-casual chain's midtown Manhattan location. (And no, these aren't inflated resale ticket prices.)
If you're puzzled by the price point — for context, the tasting menu (without drinks) at Manhattan's famed Eleven Madison Park is $225 a head — the answer is simple: location. In addition to a buffet spread, three open bars, and a DJ, Olive Garden also offers a "limited view" of the Times Square ball drop according to this location's manager. (Limited, as in, there's no guarantee that patrons will have a view of it.) It's also worth noting that Olive Garden isn't the only fast-casual chain that's getting in on the location-based price-gauging: neighboring restaurant Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is charging $799 a head for a better view of the ball drop, while tickets at Ruby Tuesday run from $349 to $1,699.