Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To sing or not to sing

One of the perks of having a birthday is that it's pretty much guaranteed that you get to go out to dinner to celebrate. When I was growing up, the decision of where I picked to go eat depended on what type of birthday treat the restaurant offered. Would I go for the free cheesecake that my favorite steakhouse provided or what about the ice cream sundae that the Olive Garden gave out?

The only downside to my birthday eating out bliss? The birthday song. You know what I'm talking about. I always dreaded seeing the line of employees making their way over to my table to sing (very loudly) their birthday wish to me. Sure, it was embarrassing but at least I got a free dessert out of the whole ordeal.

So, I was rather disappointed when a few years ago, a group of co-workers took me to Olive Garden for my birthday and we were told that they no longer gave out free dessert for birthdays. They told us that they would still sing to me and if we wanted, we could purchase a dessert that they would bring out. I laughed to myself because the whole point of enduring the birthday song was so that you got a free tasty treat at the end. There was no way I was going to let them sing to me if I wasn't going to get my reward!

Now, I don't want to pick on Olive Garden. I'm just using it as an example. But it has seriously gotten to the point where finding a restaurant that serves a birthday dessert (for free) is hard to come by. How sad. What is this world coming to? Are the restaurants out there really that cheap?

I ask you now. Where do you go for your birthday? Am I missing out on some wonderful birthday treat? And how do you feel about being sung to? Would you let your server sing to you even if you that piece of cake they bring out ends up on your bill?


Anonymous said...

I only let them sing to me if I get the free dessert. No dessert, no song!

I do agree that it's the least that restaurants can do to give us a free birthday treat. I mean, they keep raising their prices, making portions smaller, and now taking away our birthday treats. It's a disgrace!!!

Becky said...

I have an issue with Olive Garden as well. We went out for my neices birthday, and they said they would bring out a birthday treat for her, so they did and they sang too. They didn't tell us we would have to pay for it and when my sister got the bill, she had a $5 brownie sundae on it! We were not impressed. I still love Olive Garden, but I definatley won't go there for my birthday. I like to go to Applebee's or Lonestar for my birthday.

Anonymous said...

Cold Stone Creamery has a birthday club, and you get a coupon for free ice cream on your birthday. No song, too! And the ice cream is really good.

Jacki said...

Medieval Times lets you eat for free. Worth $45, great deal!

Susan said...

Brick Oven treated us well when we went for Matt's and Haley's birthday. Not only did Haley or should we say mommy get a free kids pizza but a lollipop sundae for dessert. Matt got sung to as well and a ice cream sundae for him. That's my suggestion for your next birthday.

regibells said...

Happy Birthday. I couldn't help laugh at this post because that is so me...I can't stand getting sung to at restaurants, but It is bearable because of free dessert...I remember one year going to Ottavios for my birthday and they did have a free dessert...there were two other birthdays so by the time they got to mine it was pretty sorry...but worth the FREE dessert....I can't even remember what it was though. I am usually eating leftover turkey for my b-day!

Annette and Rick said...

I just received my free birthday treat email notification from Cold Stone. When I went to their website to print the coupon out, the process was frustratingly complicated (several confirmation screens and emails, choosing favorite store, etc.). Doesn't make it seem very "free".

I think Mexican restaurants are still pretty good about birthday treats and they get pretty into the song. Wearing a sombrero while being sung to can't be beat.