How to Get Free Food Just for Joining

Get Free Food Even When It's Not Your Birthday

Restaurant dinner

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Planning a night out but don't want to break the bank? I've got you covered with this huge list of restaurants that give you free food just for signing up with them.

In exchange for you signing up for the restaurant's loyalty program or downloading their mobile app, they want to reward you by giving you something for free. This can mean a free appetizer, dessert, or even getting an entrée for free. As a member, you'll also score a lot of free birthday meals.

This list is divided into two different sections. The first is programs you can sign up for that will give you free food without you having to make any purchase at all. The bottom section is free food offers that do require you to make a minimum purchase to redeem the reward.

After you sign up for their eClub, you'll often get an email that includes a coupon that you can take to the restaurant and redeem for your free food. Some emails come immediately and others will take a few days. If you need to download an app, the offer will most often be loaded onto the app, and you can show this when checking out to get your freebie. 

All the programs work a little differently and rewards frequently change, so be sure to read the fine print on the offer. If in doubt, call your local store and ask about the reward before you head out.

Restaurants that give offer free food with loyalty programs
Illustration: © The Spruce, 2018

33 Free Food Rewards With No Purchase Required

Here you'll find a listing of the reward programs you can join that will give you some free food with no other purchase required.

  1. Dunkin' Donuts: Get a free coffee when you enroll, on your birthday, and for every 500 points spent when enrolled in Dunkin' Rewards.
  2. Chili's: Join My Chili’s Rewards for a reward such as free chips and salsa or a free drink.
  3. IHOP: Join the IHOP Rewards program to get free birthday pancakes. You can also get free pancakes on IHOP Free Pancake Day. Every $5 spent at IHOP earns you one PanCoin you can use on rewards.
  4. T.G.I. Friday's: Get free chips and salsa just for joining Fridays Rewards. You'll also get a free dessert on your birthday.
  5. Krispy Kreme: Join the Krispy Kreme rewards program, and you'll get an email for a free doughnut of your choice. Also, you earn credits with every doughnut and coffee purchase, which you can use for even more free Krispy Kreme treats.
  6. McDonald's: Get some free food when you download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards. This app has routine deals that you can apply nearly every time you order.
  7. Caribou Coffee: Sign up for Caribou Perks and you'll get a free medium drink.
  8. On the Border: Sign up for Border Rewards for a free item of your choosing when you dine in: guacamole app, dessert, or a non-alcoholic drink.
  9. Joe's Crab Shack: Get a free appetizer when you join Joe's Catch.
  10. California Pizza Kitchen: Get a free small plate just for joining CPK Rewards.
  11. Buca di Beppo: Join the Buca eClub and you'll get a $10 coupon redeemable for free food.
  12. Corner Bakery: Join Corner Bakery Rewards and you'll get an instant $5 off any purchase, plus a reward on your birthday. Also, for every $1 you spend, get 5 points towards unlocking the next membership tier.
  13. Rubio's: Sign up for Rubio’s Rewards to earn $5 off your first order. You'll also receive special birthday surprises and redeemable points for every $1 you spend through your account.
  14. Raising Cane's: Get a free box combo for joining the Caniac Club.
  15. Which Wich: Sign up for Vibe Club Rewards and you'll get a free drink just for joining. You'll also get a free regular 7" Wich for every 75 reward points you accumulate, plus a free Wich on your birthday.
  16. LaMar's Donuts: Get a free donut and coffee just for signing up for their reward program. Breakfast is also paid for on your birthday.
  17. Backyard Burgers: Sign up for the Backyard Burgers Clubhouse and you'll get a free classic burger.
  18. Dunn Brothers Coffee: Download the Dunn Bothers Coffee Rewards App and you'll get a free $3 credit. You'll receive $2 for every $30 you spend, and a $5 birthday credit.
  19. Yogurtland: Join Yogurtland Real Rewards and you'll get 3 oz. of frozen yogurt for free, plus one on your birthday. Each time you earn 100 points, they'll automatically send you a $5 reward.
  20. bd's Mongolian Grill: Sign up for bd's Rewards for a free starter or dessert just for joining. After that signup reward, you'll also get $10 off your next purchase.
  21. Houlihan's: Get $10 off for joining their email club, and you'll also receive a free entrée on your birthday.
  22. Moe's Southwest Grill: Get a free cup of queso when you sign up, plus a free burrito on your birthday.
  23. Abuelo's: You'll get a special offer, such as an appetizer, just for joining Mi Abuelo's Rewards. They change this offer frequently, so you never know what you're going to get. As part of the reward program, you'll also get special offers for your birthday. Earn one point for every $1 you spend at Abuelo's restaurants.
  24. Coco's: You'll get a free slice of pie when you sign up for Coco's rewards program.
  25. Cotton Patch Cafe: Join the Cotton Patch Club and they'll give you a free appetizer for joining, free dessert on your birthday, and an entrée on your anniversary.
  26. Hard Times Cafe: Get a free chili mac when you sign up for their email club.
  27. Andy's Frozen Custard: Get a free frozen custard cone when you join Yum Squad through the app.
  28. Uncle Julio's Mexican: Get free table side guacamole when you sign up for their loyalty club. There are sometimes also discounts, like $5 off $25 or more.
  29. La Madeleine: Get a free Lemon Madeleine or Butter Croissant when you join, plus a birthday bakery treat and other surprise rewards.
  30. The Melting Pot: Join The Melting Pot's Club Fondue for a complimentary box of six of their Signature Dipped Strawberries. Birthday vouchers are also available.
  31. Checkers: Sign up for text deals and get a free classic Mother Cruncher or Big Buford.
  32. Johnny Carino's: Get a free pepperoni pizza when you sign up for their email club.
  33. Mimi's Cafe: Join for two free muffins.

31 Free Food Rewards With a Purchase

These programs provide free food, too, but only after you make a purchase.

  1. Famous Dave's: Join the Famous Nation and you'll get a free burger or sandwich with any purchase.
  2. Pizza Hut: Sign up for Hut Rewards to get 2 points for every $1 spent, including delivery fees, to redeem on things like breadsticks, pizza, and wings.
  3. Auntie Anne's: Download the free Auntie Anne's Pretzel Perks app and you'll get a free pretzel after you spend at least $1. They also give away a free pretzel as part of National Pretzel Day and on your next birthday.
  4. LongHorn Steakhouse: Get a free appetizer with the purchase of one adult entrée when you join their eClub. Special coupons and offers are also awarded on your birthday.
  5. Del Taco: Get two free tacos with any purchase for signing up for Del Yeah! Rewards. You'll also get a free premium shake on your birthday.
  6. Cold Stone Creamery: When you join Cold Stone Club Rewards, you'll get a coupon for a buy one creation, get one creation free.
  7. FATZ: Sign up for their loyalty club and you'll get $5 off your purchase. Anniversary and birthday treats are also available.
  8. Panera Bread: Join MyPanera and you'll get a free pastry item after you make a purchase. They also give out tons of other freebies when you're a member.
  9. Village Inn: Sign up for the rewards program for $10 off any purchase of $11 or more. There's also free money up for grabs over time as you purchase food, plus regular exclusive offers.
  10. Fazolli's: Sign up for Fazoli's Rewards to lock in one point for every dollar you spend. You can start redeeming with as little as 25 points for everything from drinks and cookies to breadsticks, pizza, and more.
  11. Taco Cabana: Become a loyalty member and you'll be rewarded a free $5, plus some discounted food, 50 in MY TC! reward points, and a birthday surprise.
  12. Dairy Queen: Get a buy one, get one free Blizzard treat coupon when you join the Blizzard Fan Club.
  13. Carvel: Sign up and you'll get a coupon for a buy one, get one free ice cream cone.
  14. Black Angus Steakhouse: Prime Club Rewards members can earn points with every purchase, and redeem those points for free menu items. Also, your first takeout order through the app is 10% off, and there are birthday bonus points and surprise rewards throughout the year.
  15. Chevys Fresh Mex: Join Chevy's eClub and you'll get a free appetizer with the purchase of one entrée, plus a free entrée on your birthday.
  16. Schlotzksy's: Download their insider rewards app for free food as you earn points for your purchases.
  17. Hungry Howie's: You get 50 Howie Points for joining, and then you earn more as you make qualifying purchases.
  18. Culver's: Become a MyCulver's member for a free value basket with the purchase of another, plus free birthday treats.
  19. Rock Bottom Brewery: Upon signup, you'll receive 50 points (worth $5), but you can't use it until you have 100 points. For every 100 Rock Rewards Points you accumulate, you'll earn another discount. They also give out free birthday dessert.
  20. Gordon Biersch: When you sign up for their rewards program, you'll get free food money after your first visit.
  21. UNO Pizzeria & Grill: When you join the Uno Insider's Club, you'll get a free appetizer with the purchase of an entrée, as well as a free dessert (with a purchase) on your birthday.
  22. Juice It Up: Sign up for their loyalty program and you'll get a free medium Classic Smoothie with a $5 purchase. You'll also earn points when you make purchases, which you can then redeem for free money.
  23. El Torito: Get a free appetizer with an adult entrée when you sign up for their eClub. You'll get another on your birthday.
  24. Gold Star Chili: Get a free regular 3-way when you buy one for joining.
  25. Acapulco: You'll get a free appetizer with the purchase of an entrée when you sign up for their eClub. They give away free birthday entrées, too.
  26. Duke's Seafood: Sign up for Duke's Seafood Email Club for a free dinner when you order another, and a free birthday entrée every year. You'll also receive $20 off your next meal.
  27. Earl of Sandwich: Get $5 off any purchase when you join the Earl of Sandwich Royalty Club.
  28. Marble Slab Creamery: Make your first purchase after signing up to get a $5 reward towards other items.
  29. David's Tea: Each time you make a purchase in store or online, you’ll earn points towards free tea.
  30. Qdoba: You'll get one point for every dollar you spend, which you can redeem for free meals.
  31. Lucille's Smokehouse: You'll get a free $10 off $30 coupon when you join. There's also an opportunity for other promos, like free birthday desserts and appetizers.