My 20th wedding anniversary is coming up in November. As I started to research where my husband and I could go to celebrate, I discovered something: restaurants, cafes, and eateries often have a little something special to offer on your special day–namely the ability for you to eat for free on your anniversary.
All you need to do to qualify for this free anniversary gift is to sign up for a restaurant’s mailing list, eClub or whatever clever moniker it uses for getting you to register on the site.
None of the restaurants I found ask for proof of a wedding or an anniversary date, nor do they seem to judge you if you have not followed the traditional path to marriage. So that means that if you are in a committed relationship or a partnership–and you have an anniversary you celebrate–you should go ahead and sign up for these bargains. Because as far as I’m concerned, everyone should be able to celebrate his/her/their anniversary with a free or discounted meal, or some other kind of deal!
Here are 9 restaurants (in alphabetical order) that can help you celebrate your anniversary on the cheap with a freebie, coupon, or some kind of discount on your meal (note: link to each restaurant’s site is in the subhead):
- Abuelo’s: You have the option of signing up for Abuelo’s eClub online or in one of the Mexican restaurant’s locations in 14 states. You’ll get a gift upon signing up, and then one on your anniversary — a free dinner entree when you purchase a dinner entree.
- Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: When you become a “Friend of Fleming’s” — that’s what this steakhouse restaurant and wine bar calls its mailing list/customer club — you’ll get information about seasonal menus, new wine collections, tasting opportunities, and most important — a special complimentary treat if you dine there within 30 days of your anniversary. According to Terri Horan, Fleming’s marketing manager, that anniversary gift changes periodically. “In the past we have offered a specialty dessert, a glass of champagne in certain markets and a variety of other celebratory items,” Horan says. “We are currently giving each couple a box of house-made chocolate truffles and a special dining card valid for a future visit.”
- Marie Callenders: With restaurants in five Western states, plus Texas, Marie Callender restaurant customers can enjoy an anniversary gift similar to its birthday deal — a coupon for $5 off your meal, plus a free piece of pie for dessert.
- The Melting Pot: The Melting Pot is a nationwide chain that features fondue of all kinds. When you sign up for the Club Fondue — and include your anniversary date — you can expect to receive vouchers for the restaurant’s Signature Chocolate-Covered Strawberries in advance of your anniversary.
- Mimi’s Cafe: Sign up for Mimi’s Cafe’s Club Fun e-Club, and not only will you get a coupon for free muffins upon signing up, you may also get a BOGO (buy one, get one free) meal on your anniversary.
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Right now when you sign up for “The Dish,” Romano’s Macaroni Grill’s newsletter, you’ll get $5 off an entree. When you complete the sign-up form, be sure to include your wedding anniversary date; you’ll receive a coupon around the time of your anniversary for a free piece of chocolate cake.
- Ruth Chris Steak House: If you decide to dine at Ruth Chris Steak House for your anniversary–and you’ve signed up for the restaurant’s email list in advance–you’ll get a free dessert to share at the end of your meal. Sweet!
- Steak N Shake: On the Steak N Shake eClub sign-up form, this family-friendly restaurant doesn’t ask for your anniversary date. Instead, it asks for the date of your “special occasion.” Then it promise to send you “a little something extra on those dates to help you celebrate” on that day. My sources tell me, based on the birthday freebie Steak N Shake offers, that your free anniversary food will be a cheeseburger and fries.
- Ted’s Montana Grill: In my opinion Ted’s Montana Grill has some of the best apple crumble around. And it turns out that when you sign up for Ted’s email list, you’ll get a coupon for a free dessert on your anniversary. Can you guess what free dessert I’ll be choosing if we celebrate our anniversary at Ted’s?