As human beings, we tend to have quite a lot in common with each other – not just taxes and a fondness for Keanu Reeves. For instance, a fun paradox states that you’ve got a fifty-percent chance of sharing a birthday with somebody in a room full of just 23 people.

This gets even more baffling when you increase the number to 75, as you’re almost guaranteed to have the same birthday as somebody else nearby.


Word of Mouth

Put another way, every day is special for somebody – and, in fact, even for companies. While places like the Ye Olde Mitre pub and the Royal Mint have had plenty of time to take birthdays to a logical extreme, having chalked up 476 and 1,372 of them, respectively, there are still plenty of new places that are counting up the days as a measure of success and acceptance by the local community.

In London’s West End, The Hippodrome Casino recently celebrated its first decade of operation by hosting a birthday bash in mid-July. The establishment, which is known for its exclusive rights to the Magic Mike stage show, also has an online arm that publishes the best online slots for players. The casino has had 14 million customers since opening on July 13th, 2012, at a rate of about 30,000 people a week.

This trend of marking birthdays for just about anything is – perhaps inevitably – keeping marketers in their jobs. The idea is that people who receive gifts or mentions on their birthday are more likely to tell somebody about it due to the surprise factor.

This word-of-mouth-style marketing is one of the best things that a business can hope for, as it often comes from an emotional place.



Consumer champion Martin Lewis notes that there are no guarantees on birthday freebies, as the generosity of businesses naturally waxes and wanes. However, many of the most well-known coffee shops, supermarkets, bistros, and bars have at least something on their menu for people celebrating their birthdays.

The downside is that you usually have to sign up for something – and don’t expect a treat worth more than a fiver.

As far as sweets are concerned, you’ll be able to claim a free donut at Krispy Kreme by downloading its Rewards app, as well as a treat from sausage roll maestro Greggs, again, via the company’s dedicated app.

Much the same is true at Costa Coffee, where a slice of cake is up for grabs, and Lidl, which will try to entice you with a birthday cookie. The latter biscuit is actually quite large for the money (none).

It’s also possible to find evening meals for free, albeit with an additional purchase.

Frankie & Benny’s, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, and Zizzi are happy to add an additional main gratis when you buy another one. Birthday people can also take advantage of a free bottle of champagne at Miller & Carter, provided you buy four mains. 

With a bit of effort, it’s possible to gorge yourself silly this coming birthday, without spending very much at all.