For many of us, spending our birthday night out at a restaurant with family and friends is an annual tradition.

We have our favorite dishes served exclusively at our preferred restaurants, and while these meals may be served all year round, they’re especially delicious on our birthdays.

But the best part of the dinner is doubtlessly the dessert that comes served with a candle just for you. Of course this tradition is a bit bittersweet as we also have to endure the obligatory “Happy Birthday” song that gets sung while the cake is delivered.

Continue reading for our definitive ranking of the best (and most embarrassing) birthday tunes at these top chain restaurants:

8. Benihana

As far as we can tell, most Benihana establishments stick to the traditional birthday song beginning with, “Happy Birthday,” and ending in, “to you,” sung on repeat at a slowed down pace. This, we’re sorry to say, is maybe even worse than when your friends and family sing it during your party. The tune lacks creativity, but what really puts this franchise in last place is that the rendition makes for a very awkward moment for all involved.


7. The Cheesecake Factory

Similar to Benihana, the Cheesecake Factory severely lacks creativity as they sing the traditional birthday tune. The one factor that levels this establishment up from the former is that they tend to sing the song at the usual pace, which cuts down on the blush-worthy moment.


6. Chili’s

This establishment is known to go big with their unique b-day song. While they get points for changing up their lyrics and tune, Chili’s is almost too happy to embarrass the birthday person as they enjoy announcing the event to the entire restaurant. Expect a very loud and hyped version of the birthday song when celebrating your day at this chain.


5. Cold Stone Creamery

Okay, this ice cream shop may not be a restaurant, but it’s definitely a chain that sings! Anyone who’s ever stepped foot in a Cold Stone knows that the employees have to sing upon request and when receiving a tip. But you may not know they have their own special lyrics when singing Happy Birthday. This “sound-off” style song is super creative and fun, though it falls in the middle of our list because it definitely likes to poke fun at the birthday person. Lyrics such as, “I don’t know what I’ve been told, someone here is getting old,” really ups the embarrassment factor.


4. Applebee’s

This call-and-response-style jam is short and sweet, which makes it all the better when it comes to the embarrassment factor. Although, because of the repeat-after-me nature of the tune, every line is sung twice, which also encourages the rest of your party to join in on the song. We do however like that within this song the employees are making fun of themselves with the line, “Good news is we sing for free, bad new is we sing off-key” because it takes some of the attention off of the bashful birthday person.


3. Chevy’s

The epitome of short and sweet, this Mexican restaurant gets the embarrassment over with all while making you feel a tad more special than you do on any other day. Beginning with an “Uno, dos, tres” countdown, this song is over before you even knew it began, with a festive, “Ole!” at the end. The efficiency of this b-day song is what propels it to a high ranking on our list.


2. Red Robin

This birthday song is downright cute. It doesn’t engage in the call-and-response, which means that it’s about half the length of some of the contenders above, but in addition to that technicality, we’re big fans of the lyrics. In the middle of this tune, the singers slow down and add some hand choreo while they wish, “May all your dreams come true,” before returning to the upbeat tune of the song.


1. Buca Di Beppo

We like this birthday tune because for starters, your party is instructed to clap through the entire song which cuts down on painfully tone-deaf pitches. It’s really more of a catchy chant than other b-day melodies which string along for entirely too long. This tune is the best of both worlds because it celebrates the birthday person without inviting everyone else to sing along (we’re talking the rest of the restaurant patrons), because TBH, we can’t really tell what they’re saying. However, if you take a look at the handy lyrics page you’ll also notice that most of this song is pasta-related, which is also kind of cute and funny. If you hate this annual tradition, you’ll still love this birthday song.


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