Karen's birthday flowers

My nephews send the best birthday flowers!

Yes, it’s my birthday today and as much as I wanted to skip writing a post today, I didn’t. 

And why not, you ask? Because I’m committed to honoring my “31 posts in 31 days” project, and today is only the second day – I can’t break the streak so soon!

So today I will write about celebrating birthdays in the Seattle food community with a special focus.  What do local restaurants offer customers who are celebrating their birthdays?  I know there are web sites that list lots of national chains and their offerings, but I was looking for local and/or what I was sent personally to my email.

I also posed the question on Twitter several times, and much to my surprise, received fewer than five replies. And as someone with a fair number of followers (and I follow nearly 200 restaurants locally), I was a little disappointed.  There are probably several reasons for this, but first let me list what I did find:

  • Epulo Bistro (Edmonds) – free cocktail or dessert on your birthday
  • Dukes Chowder House (several locations) – free entree within the month AND free dessert for my entire birthday party up to six people
  • Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian (3 locations) – free entree within birthday month to VIP Club members
  • Waterfront Seafood Grill (Seattle Pier 70) – $25 dinner coupon
  • The Herbfarm (Woodinville) – personalized birthday greeting in silver frame to take home
  • Tom Douglas Restaurants (6 locations) – free dessert, must sign up in advance, valid for one month
  • Dairy Queen (national) – free 16 oz Blizzard (valid for one week)
  • Melting Pot (national) – free chocolate fondue for two (on next visit)
  • Baskin-Robbins (national) – free scoop of ice cream (valid for five days after birthday)

And I’m done now.  Really.  That’s all I came up with – but I’m sure there are more out there, but they just didn’t see the request for the info…or worse yet, they aren’t on Twitter.  Gaaaasssspppp!  True, some aren’t. 🙂

What’s my point? Since I am focused on helping restaurants communicate and promote themselves effectively (especially via social media), I think it’s a huge missed opportunity to not reach out to birthday celebrators!  Why? For the cost of an entree or dessert, you earn loyalty, appreciation, and most likely some great recommendations via Twitter and Facebook. And, possibly more importantly, those birthday boys/girls usually bring FRIENDS with them when they come to celebrate – turning a small investment by you into a big return thanks to a large dinner party who might not have dined with you otherwise.

And for those of you who DO have birthday clubs and promotions, but make them so darned hard to find on your web sites, etc., please make it easy for us to come celebrate at your establishments!  Put it right up front on your home page or send it to us via email or post it occasionally on Twitter. You know customers love “free” and it looks good on you to make us feel special on our birthdays. 

And I promise, we’ll come celebrate with you on your birthday too – no sign up required!