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Birthday - what should a restaurant do?

I'm wondering what people think a restaurant could/should do when you go there for your birthday (and let them know beforehand that you're coming on that day, or as you arrive at the latest). A restaurant here which shall remain unnamed recently did exactly diddly squat for myself and our party of four on my birthday... okay, yes, I am whinging a little bit. No cocktail, no Kir or Kir Royale, no even acknowledgement that there was a b-day. BTW, there was no opportunity for any kind of affirmation once dessert rolled around, since we had other plans at home for that part of the evening... but the restaurant also knew that beforehand.

fire away!

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  1. A restaurant with a good host will be sure to pass of all the important information to the server....In my opinion it is the server's reposibility to acknowledge the event, with at the very least, a 'happy birthday'. A good host/server will also go the extra mile to inform a manager of the special occasion...A good manager will stop by your table midway through dinner/dessert and kindly wish you a happy one, as well as show appreciation for spending the evening and $ in their restaurant...Of course it comes down to policy if a b-day dessert should be 'bought' for the guest...or simply garnished with a candle and a smile. As for drinks...perhaps a glass of bubbly...but food costs are more easily absorbed. Then again depending on your loyalty to the restaurant...you might get a bottle outta the deal.

    1. When I go out for someone's birthday, I discreetly make sure that the host and/or waiter definitely know that we have a birthday at our table. Not just when making the reservation, but also when I'm at the restaurant. There's a lot of possible breaks in the line of communication, and I like to make sure I have all of my bases covered.

      A kir or kir royale for a birthday offering? Around here, it's highly doubtful that you would get a comp drink. Just about every place I have been to will do a complimentary dessert of some sort, usually a sundae or slice of cake.

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        1. A restaurant has no obligations for a birthday except as the group's host(s) (or person acting in that capacity) arrange(s) and and pays for it . Quite simple. Anything else is gravy. Restaurants are not Farrell's Ice Cream or Cold Stone Creamery, mercifully.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Karl S

            I couldn't agree more! I find it quite tacky when restaurants do the "birthday thing", I mean they can't possibly genuinely care that it is your birthday so why bother?

            1. re: hrhboo

              Thank you! There is nothing worse than a restaurant making a bigger deal out of your birthday than you and your friends.