Scalpers seize Olive Garden's NYE deal

An Olive Garden restaurant located in Times Square, New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
An Olive Garden restaurant located in Times Square, New York.

If you thought $400 was a lot to pay to celebrate New Year's Eve at the Olive Garden, that price may have been a steal!

Several re-sellers are putting their tickets online for anywhere from face value to up to $1,000 per ticket. The tickets, which are sold out on the primary market, include an open bar, buffet dinner, live DJ and a potential view of the ball drop.

In one Craigslist post, one scalper added this selling point: "Don't stand outside in the crowds when you can be inside with heating, restrooms, open bar, full buffet dinner and a live DJ."

And now there's one more sure-fire added part of the deal. The restaurant chain, which initially said the ticket fee would not include its famous breadsticks, has since reconsidered and now will offer those breadsticks as part of the festivities.

How are the other national chains in or near Times Square doing with their New Year's Eve packages? TGI Fridays tickets, which run for just $125, are also available for resale on a number of sites, but so far they only seem to be going for face value. Ruby Tuesday is charging between $349-$850, depending on the seat. While Buca di Beppo is charging $500, and Applebee's is $375.

So it appears the Times Square Olive Garden is the hands-down winner right now. This is partly due to all the free advertising it's been getting from the news media. But it's also because the New Year's Eve casual restaurant big spenders are simply following the three golden rules of real estate: location, location, location.