IHop's free full stack of birthday cupcake pancakes
Cashing in your coupon for free food
I'm not big on going out to eat mainly because it can often be fairly pricey and unhealthy. However, this year for my birthday I wanted to treat myself and I learned that you can eat for free all day on your birthday. It is really simple - all you need to do is sign up for the rewards programs at the restaurants that offer free birthday treats and food. Restaurants that participate in this sweet deal often advertise that upon signing up for their rewards program (which usually just requires your name, email, and birthday) you receive a birthday treat every year. There are a lot of restaurants that give away free food for your birthday, but be careful as some of them are only BOGO deals (buy one get one free). I am pretty cheap, so I was looking for only the completely free deals with no purchase necessary. I ended up signing up for five restaurants' rewards programs that offered me completely free food - no purchase necessary. I was so excited to watch my inbox flood with emails for my birthday, offering me free delicious food! I decided to make a day out of going out to eat for my birthday.
In the morning, my first stop was dunkin donuts in which they offered me a free hot beverage of any size. With my birthday being around the holidays, I decided to go for an extra large hot chocolate! To pair with my hot chocolate, I stopped at Panera as they offered me a free pastry. I chose their cinnamon roll with vanilla icing. My breakfast wasn't over yet, though! My next stop was iHop as they offered me an entire full stack of any flavor pancakes of my choosing - all for free! With it being my birthday, I decided on the cupcake pancakes. They were delicious, and it was practically like eating vanilla cake for breakfast! The pancakes were stuffed with sprinkles and had a dollop of whipped cream on top with icing drizzling down the sides. This was a really big, sweet, and unhealthy breakfast - but it was totally worth taking advantage of these free offers, and it was my birthday treat to myself!
As lunchtime rolled around, I was so excited to cash in my free coupon for a full-sized burrito from Moe's. I chose the "homewrecker," and just like any other paying customer, you get to choose what you want in your burrito AND you still get the free tortilla chips and salsa on the side!
You can't have a birthday without the dessert (even though my breakfast was basically dessert), so my next and final stop was Carvel where I was offered a free small soft-serve ice cream in a cone. After showing the man behind the counter my coupon, he was extremely friendly and willing to serve me my birthday treat! He asked if I would like a vanilla or chocolate cone (the only options which apply with the coupon). Although neither would be my first choice if I was a paying customer, I wasn't going to complain with a free cone! I chose the chocolate cone and he went to get my sweet treat. He came back and explained to me that the chocolate dispenser was broken and kindly offered me one of his speciality flavors instead! He asked if I would instead like to try their seasonal pumpkin flavor or mint! I was actually really excited as I had even more flavor options now! I love mint ice cream so I decided to go with this flavor. It was the perfect treat to end my day of free birthday food!
Some tips on how to cash in your free birthday treats:
-Make sure you sign up for the restaurants' rewards programs ahead of time (prior to the month of your birthday.) Sometimes these restaurants will send you the coupon at the beginning of the month and the coupon is good for the entire month, however often times the restaurants will send you your birthday coupon a week before your birthday. So if you wait too late to sign up, you may not receive your birthday treat and will have to wait until next year!
-When you do sign up, make sure you use your real birthday! Occasionally you may be asked to verify your birthday by showing your ID (although this never happened to me, I have heard that others have been asked to show their ID).
-Call ahead or tell your server ahead of time that you have a birthday coupon and ask if you can use it during your visit. Some restaurants do not participate in these offers or are more strict about what you can order.
Overall, this was a fun and delicious birthday experience! The staff at these restaurants were more than happy to serve me my free treat and didn't give me a hard time about cashing in on my free treats!
Shawindi Silva from Sri lanka on November 18, 2020: