In today’s world of viral marketing we find businesses wanting more than ever to make their interactions with their customers more personal. It’s not unusual to find opt-in subscription boxes on many of their websites and in addition to asking for your name and e-mail address, they often ask you for your birthday and or anniversary dates as well so they can make additional offers to you to celebrate your significant personal holidays in addition to all the public holidays.
It seems that a lot of restaurants in particular operate their Internet mailing lists through an Auto-Responder called Fishbowl. So it ended up being highly amusing that today, I all of a sudden go hit with several birthday offers all starting today and ended on two weeks from today on September 10th, with my actual birthday being one week away on September 3rd. So I have two whole weeks to celebrate with the various restaurants that I have signed up to be on their lists at some point in time.
With so many offers coming in all at the same time, it’s kind of interesting to look at the various offers to see which restaurants are being more generous than others. Some are free meal offers with no strings attached, some require another meal be purchased as a buy one, get one free kind of deal, some its a free dessert, and one offered a straight up discount up to a certain amount. So let’s take a look at the various offers, I’ve received, keeping in mind, I am currently single, not dating anyone at the moment, and I have a job where I work late night hours, so not the most conducive for having someone join me if I take up any of these offers.
The Melting Pot – A Fondue Restaurant. I actually received their offer a few days ago, they aren’t operating their mailing list through Fishbowl so it stood out more because it stood out when it arrived. Their offer is for a free chocolate fondue for two dessert with the purchase of a meal for two. I’ve always wanted to try a fondue place however, this was before I got on the Belly Fat Cure program and started limiting my sugar and carbohydrate intake. So on the basis that the I would be limited in what I could eat there, I’d have to bring another person with me to take advantage of it, and the offer is for a dessert I can’t have on my program anyway, this offer is a bad deal.
Bennigan’s – Actually my local hangout. The offer I got sent from Bennigan’s was enjoy a free burger, salad, or sandwich with the purchase of another burger, salad or sandwich. Basically a Buy One, Get One Free deal (BOGO). Normally I’d think a BOGO is cheesy, but at least with Bennigan’s, I know I can go in and have a meal in and just get the second one to go and have it for another meal later, so this to me is a good deal and one I will most likely use.
Red Robin – A national chain of “Gourmet” burger restaurants. I actually like Red Robin. They really do have some good burgers. I can do burgers on my program, although I usually like to get them without a bun when I’m at restaurants just because I can’t always verify how much sugar and carbs are in their buns. This takes the guesswork out of it, and most places are usually good about asking for a burger to be wrapped in lettuce or just served bun-less. Red Robin’s offer is for a Free Burger – No strings attached. I can go by myself if I want to. Odds are I will be going with my roommate as we often like to hit Red Robin for our guilty pleasure meal of fries and milkshakes (although I now do my milkshakes at home to make them sugar free.) So this one is a good deal and I will be bringing someone with me.
Rubio’s – A San Diego based chain of Mexican food restaurants known for the fish tacos. Rubios is offering an up to a $7 discount on anything on the menu (excluding alcohol) so basically its good for anything on the menu. It’s free if its under $7 or it’s a $7 discount on anything over $7. Not a bad deal. I will most likely use the offer since Rubio’s does have menu items that are Belly Fat Cure program approved so it makes it easy to get meals I can eat on my program here. Maybe I’ll try something I haven’t tried off the menu before.
Souplantation – Also a San Diego based chain, this time of salad buffet restaurants. They are known as Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in some areas of the country instead of Souplantation. The offer from Souplantation is a Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) coupon. So since the only time I can usually go is during the day for lunch times, and I rarely am able to get someone to go with me, this makes this deal completely worthless to me. Unlike the Bennigan’s BOGO, where I could have one meal in and take one home, it’s not something you do at a buffet restaurant. So I actually consider this deal a little on the insulting side as it’s just worthless as a solo diner.
Noodles & Company – A great chain of pasta restaurants with a very internationally flavored menu. The offer from Noodles & Company is a no strings attached offer of a free bowl of pasta. Definitely a great deal. Only downside to Noodles & Company is that when I moved to Poway, I no longer live very close to one, but since there is a location near where my parents live, and I will undoubtedly be visiting them around my birthday, there’s a good chance I’ll get to take advantage of this offer, plus I really like their noodle dishes.
So some good offers, some kind of not so good. In fact a lot of the coupons Souplantation sends throughout the year are BOGO offers, so yet another BOGO deal for a birthday is hardly special. Like I said above, BOGO offers are worthless if you don’t have someone to go with, so since I feel like I’m being denied an opportunity to enjoy a discount, I usually just skip going to Souplantation. I’d much rather pay full price at a place that isn’t going to tease me with worthless discount offers.
In any case, many thanks to the restaurants listed above for their birthday offers. I certainly feel appreciated as a customer by some, and no so much by others. It nice to see a little recognition even though the only reason these places remember is because I signed up for their auto-responder and happened to give them my birthdate so they could send me offers when that day in September rolls around again every year.
Be sure to visit some of the restaurants listed above if they have any locations in your area and are interested in getting your own birthday offers when your birthday rolls around. I’ve provided links to each of them above, just click on their names at the start of each offer description.