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Mar 23, 2011 06:59 AM

I know its your Birthday, but......

So about a week ago, a friend invited me (along with about 10 others) to a birthday dinner @ a rather expensive restaurant. The food here is above average, but not spectacular.. does have a very nice unique atmosphere. I would imagine for the evening planned , it would cost around $80+ per person ( do not want to immagine if i bring a date)...

However I just found out the ONLY reason for him having his Bday Dinner at this particular place is he will get a free meal (along with his g/f) and get a portion of the total bill off his next visit. So he plans on selecting some of the most expensive menu items for the only choices available for our party, thus resutling on more gratuity for his next visit.

Now I am not cheap and do look forward to this event, but feel like I am being taken for a ride.... ??? any thoughts?

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    1. dont most restaurants do a free bday meal?
      i know not all do ...but a lot do..but did it matter on the number in the party?what the amount of the bill was?
      if thats the only reason u were asked along..i would be a little annoyed..
      and i've never heard of one giving u a discount for your next visit..
      other than the cards like buy 12 get one free...

      6 Replies
      1. re: srsone

        I see more places out here (San DIego) having the 'celebrate your birthday with 6 or more guests and get a coupon good on your next visit' . (Todai and O-nami pop in my brain right now, but I know there are others)

        I couldn't do that to my friends. Really, only a handful of people are my true friends anyhow. The rest are acquaintances and co-workers.

        I would be 'busy' if I got an invitation knowing what the OP knows is the ultimate goal of the 'birthday party'..

        1. re: Cathy

          hmmm...dont recall seeing anything like that around here (florida)
          and yes i wouldnt do that either...

        2. re: srsone

          I've never heard of a free birthday meal, unless it was a chain, and even then it's not common where I am (Boston area).

          I still stand in the "If you do the inviting, you do the paying" camp. Decline this tacky-assed invite.

          1. re: srsone

            "dont most restaurants do a free bday meal?"

            None that I've ever been to, to include chain restaurants (like Friday's) or higher end. Maybe free dessert, but the whole meal for the birthday person? Not that I've experienced.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              If you join some restaurant programs for points awarded, usually on a dollar per point system, they reward you with a certificate for discount dining after X points have been accumulated. As an added bonus, they will offer you a birthday meal as well. In our area, Charlie Brown's had their *Handshake Club*. In the past, I knew you could register with TGIF and they would send you a coupon in the mail.......arguably, the most famous free meal is the four pound lobster offered at the Palm, unless you are inactive during a six month period where your membership may be cancelled.


              1. re: ttoommyy

                i can think of a few around here that give a free meal including chains..
                but yes some of them are just a free dessert..if u google "free on your birthday"
                whole sites that just list stuff u can get free ..not just at restaurants...

                but like i said in my first reply...ive never seen one give u a free meal AND a discount for the next meal based on the amount of people who you brought with u...

                so answering the op's post...if he was just invited to make up the warm body amount for the free meal and had to order only expensive meals so he can a bigger discount ...then no ..if you know thats what u are getting into then its up to the OP...

            2. You are being taken for a ride, but that in itself isn't reason enough to decline. If you think you'll have a good time, and you don't mind spending the money, you may as well go. His benefit isn't necessarily your loss.

              1 Reply
              1. re: small h

                if the person doing the invite explained this ahead of time i would be better about it...
                but if they sprang it on u when u showed up at the place...i wouldnt be happy...

                so if you know about this ahead of time..and he is a good friend...(and will reciprocate the deal on your bday at least) i would probably go...

                but i wouldnt invite people just for the deal
                like "hey random guy who works in the office- its my bday and i need more than 6 people for me to get a free dinner"

              2. Sounds like a lot of gossip going on. If this person isn't that close a friend, don't go and save the money and the annoyance. If he is a close friend, then why not just ask him what's going on. If he says that's what he's doing, say that you think there should be a less expensive entree for those who are on budgets. If he blows you off, do the same.

                1. we never allow the birthday person pay for hir own meal, when i go out w/ friends anyway. we always divide it up amongst the rest of the diners.

                  the only thing i don't get is his limiting the menu. why isn;t the full menu on offer?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: thew

                    Because in addition to a free dinner for himself and his girlfriend, the birthday boy will get a portion of the total bill off on his next visit. So, the higher the total bill, the greater credit he will receive in the future. That's why he's limiting his guests to the most expensive items.

                    1. re: Whinerdiner

                      that i find troublesome. not that he gets a freebie, nor that he gets something off the next time. neither of those things bother me at all, in fact those are fine reasons to consider a place.

                      1. re: Whinerdiner

                        Unless your and your friends habitually eat at the most expensive restaurants, his plan is obnoxious, to say the least.

                        1. re: Whinerdiner

                          Wow. Some people have NO tact.

                          Did you go to the dinner?