young woman with free birthday food


‘This is impressive’: Customer snags birthday freebies from 29 spots, including Taco Bell, Panera, Jersey Mike’s, Crumbl, Olive Garden, and more

'Honorable mention to ihop and denny's because I just didn't go there.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Sep 13, 2023

Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people all around the world have gotten used to the idea of being in quarantine.

Whether it was the months-long quarantine that some nations imposed during the onset of the pandemic, or the days-long private quarantine people undergo after exposure to the virus, people across the globe became accustomed to spending extended periods of time alone.

For some, this was an opportunity to learn a new skill or simply take a much-needed break. For TikTok user Jessie (@jessierietsma), quarantine became a time to maximize her birthday benefits.

In a video posted to TikTok, Jessie shows all of the goods she got from various restaurants and stores as freebies for her birthday, alerting viewers of the possibilities for their own special days.

@jessierietsma honorable mention to ihop and dennys becsuse i just didnt go there 🫶🏼 #birthday #birthdayfreebies #freefood ♬ original sound – Jessie Rietsma

It was no small feat, either.

In summary, Jessie visited Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Mod Pizza, Olga’s, Grand Traverse Pie Company, Firehouse Subs, McAlister’s Deli, Sephora, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Taco Bell, Auntie Anne’s, Edible Arrangements, Biggby, HopCat, Steak ‘n Shake, Noodles & Company, Culver’s, Jimmy John’s, Panera Bread, Jersey Mike’s, Chick-fil-A, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Crumbl Cookies, Krispy Kreme, Subway, Olive Garden, Papa John’s, On the Border, Qdoba, and Lume Cannabis Co.

She also notes in the caption that she could have gone to IHOP and Denny’s.

In total, this means that Jessie acquired 29 free items from restaurants and stores. She told the Daily Dot via an Instagram direct message conversation that compiling this list took her “about 3 whole days.”

“I kind of watched some other people’s TikToks to get a general idea,” she says of putting together the list. “Then, I just started looking up places near me. I remember some from when I was growing up or when my friends got their birthday treats—so when I found a place I was interested in, I Googled their birthday reward. Sometimes I had to do a lot of searching, and other times it would come right up.”

Jessie also notes that actually getting the free deals isn’t as easy as simply walking into the store and telling them it’s your birthday.

“Sign up in advance for their rewards programs,” she advises. “There were more that I had on my list but since I only signed up a few days before my birthday i didn’t qualify for the free reward.”

Furthermore, one does not need to collect all of the items on their birthday. Instead, some stores’ loyalty programs will offer a set timeframe in which one can use or collect their birthday treat. In Jessie’s case, she says in a comment that she accumulated all of the items “over the span of like 5 days.”

Unbelievably, Jessie’s list isn’t even exhaustive. She notes in the comments that some of the chains in question may be local to Michigan or the Midwest in general, and others on the platform have documented their own experiences getting birthday rewards at restaurants like Starbucks.

As for the best free offer, Jessie says it’s a toss-up.

“Either Jersey Mike’s or HopCat. Jersey Mike’s was a GIANT sandwich for free and HopCat (a midwest chain) was an entire free meal,” she recalls.

In the comments section, users were amazed by Jessie’s efforts.

As one user put it, “This is impressive.”

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*First Published: Sep 13, 2023, 9:54 am CDT