There’s nothing better than a birthday: time spent with family and friends, the presents, the stinging, red-faced embarrassment that comes with an entire restaurant staff singing “The Birthday Song” to you as you gape around at loved ones grinning like devious children at your shock, the food. To help you celebrate your special day – or month, depending on how long you (and your wallet) can keep the party going – we present to you a (nearly) exhaustive list of where to get free food on your birthday.
Happy birthday – and happy eating these birthday freebies because they only come just once a year!
1. A&W All American Food: A&W Mug Club members can enjoy a free root beer float on their birthday as a sweet birthday treat.
2. Applebee’s: Diners part of Applebee’s EClub get dessert on the house as a birthday gift.
3. Arby’s: Arby’s is making snail mail cool again; register for Arby’s Extras and they’ll mail you a coupon for a free shake.
4. Au Bon Pain: Members of the ABP club receive a birthday lunch (that’s right, a free lunch) for their birthday.
5. Auntie Anne’s: Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Perks means you and a friend can each enjoy a buy-one, get-one-free pretzel on your big day.
6. Baja Fresh Mexican Grill: Baja Fresh’s Club Baja gets you a free taco for signing up – and a free burrito to celebrate your birthday!
7. Baskin Robbins: Get a free scoop of your favorite flavor as part of Baskin-Robbins’ Birthday Club.
8. Ben & Jerry’s: So Ben & Jerry’s isn’t technically a place unless you live in Vermont; however, unfortunately-named members of the brand’s fan club, the Chunk Spelunkers, score some free ice cream just for being born.
9. Benihana: A Chef’s Table membership at this popular teppanyaki chain get the birthday boy or girl a $30 birthday certificate.
10. Boston Market: Boston Market VIPs get the special treatment with free birthday dessert. Save room!
11. Buffalo Wild Wings: Within two weeks of your birthday, unwrap yourself the gift certificate of a free snack-size boneless or traditional wings when you’re a member of BWW’s Buffalo Circle.
12. California Pizza Kitchen: CPK rewards members are entitled to a free dessert during their birthday month.
13. Carraba’s: Buon compleanno! Sign up for Carraba’s Amici Club and you’ll get a free appetizer or dessert to start or finish a birthday meal.
14. Carvel: While you’re stopping in to pick up one of Carvel’s magnificent ice cream cakes, scoop yourself up a free cone as a Fudgie Fanatic.
15. The Cheesecake Factory: Not for the easily embarrassed. If you let your server know it’s your special day, you’ll hear a birthday song sure to draw every eye in the room and redden your cheeks. Cool off with a free bowl of ice cream, too, which at the Cheesecake Factory, is basically the size of a free meal.
16. Chick-fil-A: While it can differ across locations because they’re franchised, Chick-fil-A’s sometimes celebrate birthdays of a particular month on the first Friday of every month by offering birthday celebrators with a free milkshake.
17. Chili’s: A free birthday dessert is yours just for registering a My Chili’s account.
18. Cinnabon: Get a free Minibon roll when you enroll in Club Cinnabon, and each year on your birthday, they’ll send you a “special present to help celebrate.” What could it be?
19. Cold Stone Creamery: Register for the My Cold Stone Club and get a two Creations for the price of one with a BOGO coupon. Go ahead and take $3 off an Ice Cream Cake for your birthday, too.
20. Corner Bakery Cafe: A birthday pasty is on the house with Corner Bakery’s Corner eCafe.
21. Cracker Barrel: Free dessert and a song from the staff? That’s not a bad way to finish a big, country birthday breakfast.
22. Culver’s: Join Culver’s eClub for a free birthday sundae from this Midwestern mainstay.
23. Dairy Queen: Who isn’t a member of the Blizzard fan club? Well, make it official and join the DQ Blizzard Fan Club for birthday BOGO Blizzard of your choice – and another BOGO Blizzard just for signing up to “the sweetest club in the Solar System.”
24. Del Taco: Del Taco’s Raving Fans get free food offers and a free milkshake on their birthday.
25. Denny’s: Birthday breakfast is clutch; start your big day with a free Grand Slam – no sign-up required.
27. Dunkin’ Donuts: America Runs on Dunkin’; getting running with a free beverage of your choice with a DD Perks account as a birthday reward.
28. Edible Arrangements: Register for Edible Arrangements’ Edible Rewards program members will receive a free 12-count box of chocolate-dipped fruit, delivered right to the front door during their birthday month. Now that’s sweet!
29. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Schmear Society rewards members receive a free egg sandwich on their birthday, which is almost better than a free bagel!
30. El Pollo Loco: Join the My Loco Rewards program and you’ll get yourself free chips and guacamole on your big day – and however often these pollos locos feel like it.
31. Firehouse Subs: Members of the Firehouse rewards program receive a free sub (a medium sub at that!) on their birthday or up to six days after.
32. Fuddruckers: You’ll get a BOGO birthday burger for joining the Fudds Club.
33. GODIVA: Chocolate! GODIVA gives its rewards club members a $10 gift card.
34. Hooters: Join the eClub and head to Hooters on your birthday for a free 10-piece wings … sure, for the wings.
35. IHOP: How does a free full stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity Pancakes sound? Get one now, one on every birthday AND one each year on your anniversary of joining the Pancake Revolution. Viva la revolución!
37. Jamba Juice: Jamba Juice Insiders know they get a free small smoothie on their birthday, and $3 off their next visit for signing up.
38. Joe’s Crab Shack: Stay up on the news with the Joe’s Catch newsletter and you’ll get a free birthday appetizer.
39. Krispy Kreme: Krispy Kreme really takes care of its Friends, hooking them up with a free donut (or free doughnut) on their birthday.
40. LongHorn Steakhouse: When you sign up to become a member of the LongHorn program, you receive a free appetizer. When your birthday rolls around, you get a free birthday dessert.
41. Macaroni Grill: Newsletter subscribers for Macaroni Grill earn a free dessert on their birthday, along with free stuff throughout the year through offer emails.
42. Margaritaville: Parrotheads, rejoice! Enjoy a free scoop of ice cream along with your favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes on your next birthday … or ignore the music and go just for the ice cream.
43. McDonald’s: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late isn’t just the name of a Drake mixtape; it’s also a sad, sad truth: McDonald’s offers a free birthday Happy Meal – kids only, of course. If you’ve got little ones, sign up for the Golden Arches’ newsletter.
44. Melting Pot: This fondue-favorite will give you six free chocolate-covered strawberries on your birthday after you’ve signed up for Club Fondue. Do you have something better to … fondue?
45. Noodles & Company: If you join their rewards program 60 days before your birthday (yes, this requires planning), you will receive a free gift within a week of your birthday.
46. Olive Garden: Free dessert. Unlimited breadsticks. Need we say more? Join the Olive Garden eClub today and ignore the haters.
47. Outback Steakhouse: Finish off your down-under birthday meal with a free kids-sized vanilla sundae.
48. Orange Leaf: $3 off frozen yogurt from Orange Leaf isn’t half bad. Pick up an Ounce Back card today – maybe as they expand, their birthday reward will eventually become a free frozen yogurt.
49. P.F. Chang’s: P.F. Chang’s Preferred members will receive a complimentary appetizer or dessert during their birthday month.
50. Panera Bread: Free pastries are always a treat; pick yours up with a MyPanera membership.
51. Pinkberry: Grab a Pinkcard, get free FROYO. YOLO.
52. Pizza Hut: Have you ordered Pizza Hut online? You’re already registered to receive a free order of Cinnamon Sticks!
53. Qdoba: Qdoba Rewards helps celebrate its loyal customers’ birthdays with a BOGO birthday burrito.
54. Quizno’s: If you didn’t get a birthday cake, you could definitely use the free cookie Quizno’s offers its Q-Club members.
55. Red Lobster: Everyone loves the element of surprise. Join the Fresh Catch Club and for your birthday, RL will give you a birthday surprise like maybe a free birthday meal. It could be dinner, it could be coupons, it could be a free dinner and a tune – you’ll never know until you try.
56. Red Robin: Red Robin Royalty receives a free birthday burger. That crown looks good on you, and that free burger tastes delicious.
57. Rita’s: You can specifically sign up for the Birthday Reward program and email club to earn one free birthday treat on your birthday. That can be a free sundae, water ice, or whatever cold treat you desire.
58. Ruby Tuesday: Don’t say “Goodbye” before you’ve chowed down on your free birthday burger. It’s good to stay So Connected.
59. Sbarro: Buy a drink, get a free slice on your birthday as a member of Sbarro’s Slice Society.
60. Sonic: Get a free surprise treat from “America’s Drive-In” just for staying alive another year – and for being a My Sonic member.
61. Sizzler: For a sizzling birthday deal – a free entrée – join Sizzler’s Real Deal Club.
62. Starbucks: Starbucks Rewards members of both Green Level and Gold Level receive a free drink or free food item on their birthday
63. Steak’n Shake: This one’s too good to pass up. Register for Steak’n Shake’s eClub before your big day, then shake things up with a free double-steak burger and cheese fries.
64. TCBY: Free frozen yogurt for myTCBY loyalty program members? We have to say … That’s a Cool Birthday, Yo.
65. TGI Fridays: Fridays Rewards members are entitled to dessert on the house during their birthday month. Thank goodness!
66. Waffle House: Waffle House Regulars get a free waffle to kick off the big birthday. Wonder if the candles will fit in the holes … ?
67. Whataburger: Another reason for Texans to rejoice – Whataburger gives us a free Justaburger on our birthdays. Sign up here.
68. Wendy’s: My Wendy’s subscribers get a birthday coupon for a free vanilla or chocolate frosty. Cool.
Do you know someplace we missed? Let us know in the comments!