You can score a free beverage or dessert on your birthday at most restaurants, but for a meatier celebration, enroll online in eatery-run loyalty clubs to get gratis meals on or near your special day (and possibly additional coupons throughout the year).
Other no-cost birthday sandwiches can be had at Schlotzsky's or Firehouse Subs — you'll need to show your driver's license or other identification. And for free entrees, check out Houlihan's or Famous Dave's.
Tip: When enrolling, use a dedicated e-mail address — such as a free account at Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail — so that your primary e-mail account won't be bombarded with marketing offers.
And no matter where you celebrate, it's wise to make clear before ordering that you're there for a birthday deal.
Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues.