Best Restaurants for Freebies on Your Birthday
No one really decides to be born. Instead, we gradually become conscious and realize, "Whoa, I have fingers? I'm alive?! Wow. What am I supposed to do now?"
We can't help with that last part, but we can help celebrate your miraculous, mysterious, messy existence with something way better than a sense of purpose: free food. We tallied up restaurants across the U.S. that offer food freebies on your birthday.
Let's just say, you could create quite the spread on your special day.
Start the Day With Free Breakfast Food
1. Denny's: A free Grand Slam Breakfast, plus a rendition of Happy Birthday
2. IHOP: A free stack of pancakes if you sign up for its reward program
3. Einstein Bros Bagels: A free breakfast sandwich if you buy any beverage
4. Waffle House: A free waffle when you join the Regular's Club online
5. Black Bear Diner: A free Bearthday Breakfast, including pancakes or waffles, eggs and either sausage or bacon
6. Breugger's Bagels: One free bagel — the type of cream cheese is your call
7. Bojangles: A free Bojangles Berry Biscuit with another purchase when you sign up for its E-Club
8. Tim Horton's: A free breakfast sandwich or coffee when you sign up for Tim's Rewards
Running birthday freebie total: 8
Or a Sweet Treat, if That's More Your Thing
1. Krispy Kreme: A dozen glazed donuts for Krispy Kreme Rewards members — yes, a full dozen.
2. Corner Bakery: A free birthday pastry for members of the Corner eCafe
3. Cinnabon: A free, sticky-sweet treat for members of Club Cinnabon
4. Crumbl Cookies: A free birthday cookie when you download the app
5. Edible Arrangements: A free 12-count, chocolate-dipped fruit box if you sign up for Edible Rewards and share your birthday info
6. Mimi's Cafe: A Mixed Berry Muffin Sundae on the house if you're an E-Club member
7. Panera: A free pastry with the Panera rewards program
Running birthday freebie total: 15
Don't Forget Bevvies!
1. Caribou Coffee: A free drink of any size on your birthday when you've signed up for Caribou Perks
2. Peet's Coffee: Peetnik rewards members get 25 free points each year around their birthday.
3. Raising Canes: The Caniac Club gives members a free drink, plus food rewards throughout the year.
4. Starbucks: Signed up for Starbucks Rewards? You can get your favorite drink if you sign up at least a week before your birthday.
Running birthday freebie total: 19
For Lunch, Maybe You're in the Mood for Tacos?
1. Baja Fresh: A free taco for signing up for Club Baja and a free burrito on your birthday
2. Moe's Southwestern Grill: A free burrito if you download Moe's mobile app.
3. Qdoba: A buy-one-get-one (BOGO) birthday burrito deal
4. Chipotle: Free chips and guac with a $5 purchase
5. El Pollo Loco: Its rewards program offers a secret food freebie on your birthday.
6. El Torito: A free birthday entree of up to $15 for members of the E-Club
7. Rubio's Coastal Grille: Another birthday surprise when you sign up for its rewards program — a b-day burrito, perhaps?
Running birthday freebie total: 26
Or Classic American Fare?
1. Arby's: A free order of curly fries and a small shake with an Arby's Extras membership
2. Checkers: A free small milkshake for rewards members
3. Dairy Queen: A free birthday Blizzard on your birthday
4. Del Taco: Not a classic American diner, but the free milkshake that comes with a Del Yeah! Rewards membership might fool you.
5. Fuddruckers: Get a BOGO 1/3-pound birthday burger just for joining the Fudds e-Club.
6. Hard Rock Cafe: A free BOGO entree for loyalty members on their big days
7. Hot Dog on a Stick: Free Funnel Cake Sticks for reward members
8. Jack's: A free birthday milkshake when you sign up for the app
9. Johnny Rockets: A free burger with the purchase of an entree, plus a drink if you're a member of the Rocket eClub
10. McDonald's: Just download the McDonald's app and get a BOGO 10-piece McNugget, Big Mac or Quarter Pounder With Cheese.
11. Smashburger: Join the SmashClub for a free burger and a free side to celebrate another trip around the sun.
12. The Habit Burger Grill: A free Charburger with cheese? Yes, please! You'll have to be a CharChar rewards member, though.
13. Wahlburgers: Here's another burger joint offering a free shake for subscribers but no burger. Whatever. You can still get all your favorites free if you hit up a few stops.
14. Whataburger: At least Whataburger gets it. You do have to sign up for its loyalty program, but you get a free burger out of it.
15. Wienerschnitzel: This one counts as an American classic, too. However, the food item you receive free is left a mystery, and you have to join the Wiener Lovers' Club to find out.
16. Wingstop: See, what did we tell you? After you get a burger and a shake elsewhere, sign up for the Wingstop Club for free fries.
Running birthday freebie total: 42
Sandwiches Are Always a Win
1. Dickey's BBQ Pit: Yellow Cup Rewards members get a free barbecue classic sandwich on their special day.
2. Firehouse Subs: A free medium sub when you sign up for Firehouse Rewards
3. Jersey Mike's: A free sub on your b-day when you sign up for its email list
4. Jimmy John's: A surprise reward on your birthday for Freaky Fast Rewards members — better be a sizable sub
5. Pita Pit: A free pita on your birthday with a rewards membership
6. Quiznos: Loyalty members get a BOGO sub to share with a friend
7. Subway: No free subs, but you get one of its embarrassingly addictive cookies for an after-lunch treat if you sign up for MyWay Rewards.
Running birthday freebie total: 49
It's Tough to Fail at Free Pizza
1. Cici's: A free adult pizza buffet when you sign up for its rewards program
2. Godfather's Pizza: A free medium, one-topping pizza for members of the Loyalty Club
3. Grimaldi's Pizzeria: A free 16-inch, one-topping pizza for reward members as long as you make at least one other purchase every year
4. Pieology: A free BOGO pizza or an entree salad
5. Sbarro: A free slice of pizza for members of the Slice Society as long as you buy a drink
Running birthday freebie total: 54
If You Just Want a Quick Bite, the Free Birthday Options Are Plentiful
1. Auntie Anne's: A free classic pretzel when you sign up for Pretzel Perks
2. Buffalo Wild Wings: Free snack-sized wings on your birthday when you sign up for Blazin' Rewards
3. Pizza Hut: When you sign up online, you'll get a handy coupon for free birthday breadsticks or cinnamon sticks.
4. Wetzel's Pretzels: Download the app for a free, salty, buttery, birthday pretzel.
Running birthday freebie total: 58
Some Health-Food Joints Even Offer Birthday Freebies
1. Vitality Bowls: A free birthday acai bowl for members of the loyalty program
2. Tropical Smoothie Cafe: A surprise freebie in the Tropical Smoothie rewards app
3. Planet Smoothie: A free smoothie worth up to $6 for members of the Birthday Club
4. Jamba Juice: A free birthday smoothie for Jamba Insider Rewards members
5. Sweetgreen: A $10 credit valid for up to 30 days after your birthday
Running birthday freebie total: 63
More Upscale Restaurant Birthday Freebies Are Also a Thing
1. Benihana: A $30 gift certificate during your birthday month
2. Genghis Grill: BOGO bowls for reward members — so don't forget to bring a buddy!
3. Texas Roadhouse: We said more upscale, not actually upscale. Anything serving decent steak counts, and TR's VIP membership includes a free appetizer on your birthday.
4. Outback Steakhouse: A mouthwatering Bloomin' Onion is free of charge when you sign up for Outback Rewards. Some locations also offer a free birthday dessert.
5. Red Lobster: A random, surprise birthday freebie — what could it be?
6. P.F. Chang's: A free dessert is headed your way during your birthday month if you join the P.F. Chang's rewards program
Running birthday freebie total: 69
Tons of Places Offer Free Dessert
1. Applebee's: Any free dessert, redeemable between seven days before and 21 days after your birthday, with a $15 minimum purchase. The rewards program also gets you a free appetizer when you sign up.
2. BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse: A free Pizzookie when you sign up for Premier Rewards Plus
3. Black Angus Steakhouse: A free Cowboy Cookie with an entree purchase
4. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.: A free birthday cupcake
5. California Pizza Kitchen: Any dessert on the menu when you sign up for CPK Rewards
6. Capital Grille: A free dessert — no email signup required!
7. Carrabba's: A free dessert during your birthday month when you join the Amici Club
8. Coco's Bakery: A free slice of pie
9. Culver's: A free birthday sundae if you join the Culver's club
10. Godiva: A free birthday treat when you sign up for the Godiva rewards program (the truffle offered varies seasonally)
11. Islands: A free dessert when you join its Tiki Link email list
12. Macaroni Grill: A free dessert with entree purchase
13. Marie Callender's: A free slice of pie, plus $5 off two entrees
14. Melting Pot: Free chocolate-covered strawberries delivered right to you when you subscribe to its email list
15. Olive Garden: A free dessert to pair with its iconic breadsticks
16. Papa John's: A free dessert for Papa Rewards members
17. Popeye's: A free apple-pie treat for rewards members
Running birthday freebie total: 86
Or Specifically Birthday Cake If You So Desire
1. Buca di Beppo: This Italian favorite offers a choice between a giant brownie sundae or an impressively rich slice of double dark chocolate cake.
2. Cheesecake Factory: A free treat after your meal when you mention to the server that it's your birthday
3. Junior's Cheesecake: A free slice with a purchase of an entree when you join Junior's Birthday Club
4. Nothing Bundt Cakes: A free Bundtlet, aka a mini bundt cake, in a flavor of your choice, just for joining their email list
5. Sprinkles: A free cupcake — do you think they make a carrot cake version?
Running birthday freebie total: 91
And Free Ice Cream to Go With It!
1. Baskin Robbins: Baskin Robbins Birthday Club members get a free scoop on their birthday.
2. Ben & Jerry's: Flavor Fanatics get a free scoop here, too!
3. Bruster's Real Ice Cream: A BOGO waffle cone deal when you sign up for its E-Club
4. Carvel: A free small cone for Fudgie Fanatics
5. Cold Stone: Cold Stone Club members get a free ice cream creation on every birthday.
6. Dippin' Dots: We weren't sure this still existed, but it does, and you can eat these pebbles of ice cream for free on your b-day when you sign up for the Dot Crazy! Email Club.
7. Menchie's: A $5 store credit on your birthday for joining the mySmileage program.
8. Pinkberry: A free yogurt on your birthday when you're a member of its rewards program
9. Rita's Italian Ice: A scoop of refreshing Italian ice on the house for e-Club enrollees.
10. Yogurtland: Through its Real Rewards program, you'll get a $5 discount on a birthday treat.
Running birthday freebie total: 101
And there it is, folks — everything your tastebuds could dream of and all for free as long as it happens to be the day you were forced into existence. Delicious!