I am old enough to remember when it was a novelty to get a free meal on your birthday. In fact, I only remember it being offered by one chain: Denny’s. As nice as that sounds, I don’t remember ever choosing to go to Denny’s on my birthday, the day when it was my choice to go anywhere. Maybe some other chains started to do it, too. But, we only get one birthday, and it was still hard to take advantage of even one of them, what with all that family time expected of us on our big days.
These days, there are a lot of the common chains that offer birthday coupons, and most of them are good for more than just the one day. Here are some of the best, and my recommendations, including several local (Hampton Roads, VA) spots.
First, if you don’t already have a webmail account that you use only to sign up for email lists, I highly recommend it. And, I recommend not using the same webmail provider as your personal account, so that you can be logged in to your personal account and your mailing lists account at the same time.
Any of the following will do:
http://mail.yahoo.com (from Yahoo, for yahoo.com and the classic rocketmail.com domain)
http://gmail.com (from Google)
http://mail.live.com (from Microsoft, for live.com, hotmail.com, and msn.com accounts)
http://webmail.aol.com (free email from aol)
As I said, I recommend signing up for a different provider than any or all that you already use, so you can have open sessions for each of you accounts at the same time. But, it’s not that big of a deal, especially if you only check this account around your birthday.
First up, the best of the local spots:
Lynnhaven Mall – Free $10 gift card. This email usually arrives late in the month for me, after my birthday, and you have to weave your way into the mall offices. But even though the card is labelled as a mall gift card, it is an American Express prepaid card – you can use it to buy gas if you are so inclined, or most any other place that takes American Express.
The Broken Egg Bistro – Free Menu item up to $10.
I signed up for this one in person and got on their email list. When we went on my birthday, I had a huge omelet. This place is always packed. And it’s really reasonable for anyone else you happen to go with.
Taylor’s Do-It center – Free $10 postcard
I don’t remember how I got on their postal mailing list, but they send me a postcard every with a $10 “usable as cash” coupon. Their email list does not appear to have a form to fill out a birthday, so it must’ve been in person.
Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt – free serving
You have to sign up for this one in person. If not, most locations will still give you a free one on your actual birthday. I still need to sign up for it, but my wife gets a coupon in her email good for more than just her birthday.
Cinema Cafe – B1G1 (Buy 1 Get 1) Movie Ticket
Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Free Smoothie
Of the big chains, there are a few tricky ones:
Starbucks – any drink free postcard
Register any gift card at http://my.starbucks.com and they’ll send you a postcard good for any free drink for your birthday.
Dunkin Donuts – free medium drink postcard
Sign up for DD Perks, and they’ll send you a postcard in the month of your birthday for a free medium drink.
Red Robin – Free Burger
Pick up their Rewards Card in person, register it online, and they’ll add a free burger to it during your birth month.
The rest will send offers to your email, just sign up on their website:
Rita’s Italian Ice – Free Regular Ice
Moe’s – Free Entree (excluding fajitas)
Ruby Tuesday – Free Burger
Fuddrucker’s – Free Burger
BD’s Mongolian Grill – Free Stir fry, dine-in only
Jersey Mike’s – free Regular Sub & Drink (good only on your birthday)
Bravo Cucina B1G1 Entree
Bruster’s – B1G1 Waffle Cone
Cold Stone – B1G1
Park Lane Tavern – B1G1
Greene Turtle – B1G1
Aunt Anne’s Pretzels – B1G1 anything
There are many others, but these were the highlights, and some of the better offers. Places like Applebee’s, Fridays, Lone Star, and more, will send a free appetizer or dessert coupon for your birthday with Entree purchase. Great if you were going already, but not reason enough to go there if you weren’t.
Comment below: what offers have you found? If you’re not local to Hampton Roads, what have you found in your area?