A server learned that the guest of honor at a birthday party they were working at Texas Roadhouse wasn’t there—because he’d recently gone to the beyond.
The story comes from a server sharing it on the Reddit subreddit TalesFromYourServer, a place where restaurant workers come together to talk about customers, managers, and co-workers. Straightforwardly titled “I did a birthday at Texas Roadhouse for a dead guy,” redditor u/buttered-peanuts77 discussed a particularly memorable incident about a year into working at Texas Roadhouse.
The server said they greeted a party of about seven or eight people and set up the story by saying, “People asking discretely to do a birthday is commonplace,” as it’s the chance to embarrass a friend.
Texas Roadhouse, after all, has a birthday ritual in which staff brings out a saddle for the person celebrating the birthday to sit on. Then, the assembled staff members sing a birthday song. It’s part of the inimitable character that’s made Texas Roadhouse arguably the most TikTok-friendly restaurant around.
As the server told it, “After taking their drink order one lady mouths to me what I assumed was it’s his birthday or something of the ilk. I don’t mention it again.”
The party at the table is having a great time, and as the meal’s wrapping up, the server said they decided to put the birthday celebration into motion. The server said, “I roll up with the saddle five people clapping loudly behind me,” and then trumpeted, “So, I heard it was someone’s birthday!”
Immediately, according to the server, “The fun the table was having immediately came to a halt. Faces dropped. A very sullen old man says to me, ‘It was but he is no longer with us.'”
The other staff members “scattered like roaches,” as the server put it, now alone to face the awkwardness. “It was a group of friends out celebrating their late friend’s birthday,” the server clarified.
The server said they then found out that the woman was trying to discretely say that she would take care of the bill, and they were able to laugh it off together in the end.
Fellow redditors marveled at the story, with some sharing dead person birthday stories of their own.
“Had a friend that had to sing happy birthday to a pic on a phone of the [lady’s] dead husband,” one shared. “Super nice of my friend because I think I would have noped my ass out of that one.”
“Lol I put candles on a cake that said Happy 100th Birthday David! Lit them and got all the way to the table, then realized no one there looked anywhere near 100 except one lady who’s name obviously wasn’t David,” said another. “Turns out they were commemorating what would have been her [late] husband’s 100th birthday. Awkwardly pulled all the candles out and left them with a cake with holes in it.”
“I had a table that asked for an extra chair for the dead person who wasn’t there, they ordered them an app, an entree, a dessert and I sang happy birthday to the empty chair,” someone else recalled. “Talk about awkward.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to the original poster via Reddit chat.