18 Mar 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Restaurants are just waiting to give you free stuff: entrees, ice cream and deserts.
Keep in mind these loyalty programs and online clubs carry a hidden cost: privacy. In return for free birthday wishes, you are likely to get e-mails or texts year-round announcing the latest dishes or promotion.
Isn’t it nice to know, however, you are getting your share of freebies in the world?
While visiting the Web sites below, take time to check out the nutritional values of dishes on the menu. Get the 411 on the calories and fats found in dishes before you leave home.
These programs require members to sign up online or by cell phone. If you don’t have a computer or mobile, then go to the library. Remember, never save your password or email address when using computers in a public location.
Check out the gifts waiting for you when your b-day comes around:
Baskin Robbins – Join the Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club and you’re rewarded with a free scoop of ice cream on your birthday! You will also receive a $3 discount on a birthday ice cream cake!
Benihana – Members of the Chef’s Table get a $30 certificate to use during the month of their birthday. Anyone can send a Benigram to friends on their birthday or anniversary for free.
Blue Bell – Members of the Blue Bell Country Club will receive coupons and advanced news regarding Blue Bell.
Buffalo Wild Wings – Join the Buffalo Circle to get email updates on promotions, special events and menu updates. There is a special birthday surprise in it for you.
Burger King – Parents can sign up their child to be a member of Club BK, which has games and a monitor that allows parents to see which games their child plays. Members of Club BK get a birthday surprise. Parents and kids can sign up.
Dairy Queen – Members of the Dairy Queen Blizzard Fan Club have a blog, if you can believe it. Moreover, the kids program from DQ lets kids meet and interact with the Deeqs, a fun species of creatures created by the founders of DQ. Kids are able to have fun with the Deeqs, both in-store and on Deeqs.com, where they’ll be able to explore the Deeqs’ world of DQ-topia, play games, and learn their history. Members score a sweet treat on their birthday.
Denny’s – It’s your birthday so come in and get a free Grand Slam breakfast (for a limited time, at least). Senior discounts also are available here. Denny’s has an adult rewards programs for frequent diners.
Houlihan’s –Visit this Web site, if only to listen to the soulful, toe-tapping musical concert. Sign up for the email club and you’ll get a coupon for a free entree on your birthday plus a free ap. Join the mobile phone to get the 411 on last minute offers, promotions and events held at Houlihan’s. Just for signing up, you will get a coupon for a free dessert via text message. (The nearest Houlihan’s are located in Missouri and Texas.)
IHOP – Join the Pancake Revolution (Pancakes to the People) at IHOP and you’ll get a free meal for signing up, one on your birthday and one on the first anniversary of your membership.
On the Border – Get a free appetizer on your birthday by joining On the Border’s Club Cantina. After you sign up, you’ll immediately receive a coupon for a free bowl of queso or empanadas.
Outback Steakhouse – Sign up for My Outback Rewards to earn points while dining that are redeemable for food and gifts. Get special offers and deals throughout the year, and on your birthday. Get 250 points just for signing up. At Outback.com, customers can use one of their own photos to personalize a gift card.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery – Members of the Perkins’ eclub receive exclusive email offers for their birthday and wedding anniversary. Plus they are first to learn of upcoming specials. Must be 13 years of age or older to participate.
Red Lobster – Join the Fresh Catch Club and Red Lobster promises there’s a tasty birthday surprise in your future.
Ruby Tuesday – Sign up now for the So Connected Club and you’ll get back a “Buy One Entrée Get One Free” coupon by email. Members get a coupon good for a free handcrafted burger on their birthday.
Shoney’s – Sign up for the eclub and you’ll receive special offers, coupons, discounts and a birthday surprise. Must be 13 years or older to join. This program allows you to opt-out of promotional emails. Senior discounts available.
Sonic – The Birthday Club members get free stuff to help them celebrate. Join today and receive a free Wacky Pack® Kids’ Meal for the little one. The adult program, for those 13 or older, is called Sonic Cruisers and promises to deliver a scrumptious treat for your special day.
TGI Friday’s – Receive a coupon for a free appetizer after you up for Friday’s Give Me More Stripes program. Plus, you’ll get a freebie on your birthday. Members get an $8 coupon for $8 good for free food for every $100 spent at the restaurant.