So, your birthday is right around the corner and you have no idea how to celebrate. Well, believe it or not, we’re calling it the year of hosting birthdays at chain restaurants. You might be wondering why one would choose to host a birthday party at a chain, and we are here to tell you that there are so many perks to doing this. Some might give out free dessert, maybe sing “Happy Birthday” to you while playing the drums, or even offer an arcade room for you and your friends to have fun playing in. Whether you’re turning 15 or 55, ringing in your next age at a chain restaurant can be so much fun, and it’s affordable! Here are our tips on how to host a killer birthday party at a chain restaurant.

Invite anyone and everyone

Arguably, the best part about hosting your birthday at a chain restaurant is the fact that you aren’t spending as much money as you would going to a five-star restaurant in the boujee part of town. And while you aren’t spending as much money, you might even have double the amount of fun. This means you shouldn’t have to worry about who to invite — which can sometimes be a big stressor for birthdays. If you choose to host your party at a chain restaurant, chances are that almost everyone you invite will be able to attend, due to the luxuriously affordable prices offered at these restaurants. Nothing beats a $15 entree for dinner, or Applebee’s 2 for $25 deal, it’s life-changing!

In addition to the financial aspect of this party, chain restaurants foster a casual vibe. Of course, if you decide on a nicer chain like The Cheesecake Factory, then you and your guests might choose to dress in nicer attire, but a lot of the chain restaurants we have in mind allow for your party to be comfortable and cozy — the vibe we are all going for, am I right? 

Bring decorations galore

Another plus? The decorations. Be as obnoxious as you want, no judgment zone. If you celebrate at a fancy restaurant, you might feel more intimidated to bring balloons, flowers, table decor, and more. However, at a casual chain restaurant, the world is truly your oyster. The vibes are usually more chill and fun at a chain, so bring all the decorations you want. From setting up the table with name cards and party favors to cake and balloons, you can get as creative as you want. TikTok user Jake Jonez celebrated his birthday at Chili’s walking in with balloons, gifts, and even Crumbl Cookies — emphasizing the ability to be his complete self while celebrating at this chain. 

“Chili’s is chill,” Jake said in the TikTok, “And guess what I’m taking photos because they don’t care about the media, they make me feel welcomed.”

At a chain like Skyline Chili where there isn’t as much traffic as, say, Cracker Barrel, you can push as many tables together as you need, decorate how you please, and have as many people as the restaurant will fit. From someone who has attended a birthday party at Skyline Chili, I promise you will love celebrating here, or any chain for that matter. 

Set up a theme

The most fun part about hosting your birthday at a chain is you can opt for creating a theme. For a casual theme, you can go for something as simple as a color code, have everyone come dressed in groutfits (grey outfits), or you can go all out and have everyone show up in black-tie attire. Themes make for a fun and unique party, and at a chain, you can get really creative with your themes, as there are no cares in the world. For something more niche, you can do a denim and diamond theme to dress casually yet have a hint of luxury. At a place like Olive Garden, you would fit in perfectly dressed up nicely. On the other hand, it would be super out of pocket and memorable to show up to Chipotle in black tie attire, it would be a birthday that you would never forget.

Order for the table to share

Due to the incredible prices at chains, if you and your friends decide, you can order a bunch of appetizers and entrees to share. To the birthday queen or king: choose what looks good, and everyone can try a little bit of everything. The customizations are the best part, you can even opt for samplers. At Applebee’s, the Classic Combo just has everything, including spinach and artichoke dip, boneless wings, mozzarella sticks, and chicken quesadilla. For the 21-year-olds and older people out there, if you decide to go to a Mexican chain, you should definitely get a bunch of jumbo margs to split amongst the table!

Restaurant recommendations

Now, for the most important part of this guide — where should you choose to celebrate your chain birthday party? The sky is truly the limit here with a never-ending list of chain restaurants to celebrate at. Each chain has its own unique vibe and different things to offer.

Benihana is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday. From the fun of watching your dinner get cooked right in front of you, to the chef performing different tricks throughout the process, this restaurant is a no-brainer for celebrating a birthday. If you register for The Chef’s Table through Benihana’s website, you can receive a $30 birthday certificate during your birthday month. In addition, Benihana has their crew come out and sing Happy Birthday to you in the most festive way — with drums and all, and the whole restaurant joins in to sing to you, there’s no place that does it better. If you’re looking for a fun and delicious celebration, Benihana is the place to do it. 

The Cheesecake Factory is another classic for a birthday party. The food is delicious, the prices are unbeatable, and you even get a free piece of cake if you’re a rewards member and it's your birthday. Signing up to become a member of Cheesecake Rewards is easy and so worth it. This classy chain is the way to celebrate your birthday this year, no doubt about it.

Dave & Buster’s is another fun place to host your birthday party at. You get the fun of playing games and feeling like a kid again, while also eating bomb food for even more bomb prices! It may sound random and outdated, but we promise this party will be epic.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any chain restaurant, just make sure it’s a place you enjoy with yummy food, where you can have fun at while in the company of your favorite people.