Boy, this always makes me uncomfortable…

I’m talking about restaurant employees singing “Happy Birthday” to customers.

It’s always pretty awkward and you can’t tell if the customers OR the workers enjoy it.


AskReddit users discussed if restaurant workers should have to sing “Happy Birthday” as part of their jobs.

Let’s see what they had to say.

1. Is it embarrassing?

“It probably sounds dumb and maybe a bit biased considering I’ve worked as a waitress a lot in the past.

But I honestly cannot stand it when managers practically hand you a cake (handed in by the customers) and expect you to sort out the candles, light them, awkwardly waddle over to the table whilst making sure the candles don’t blow out and start singing ‘happy birthday.’

I personally find it embarrassing and nowhere does it say that this is a task you should have to perform. Not only that, if you don’t do it, you get treated like you’re not a team player and get bi**hed at by your managers. If they want to offer this type of service, then maybe they should be the ones embarrassing themselves.

I see it as ‘I don’t know this person, I’m just here to do a job, I’m not a part of this celebration.’ It’s just, I don’t know man, it doesn’t sit right with me.

Does anyone else see this as pointless?”

2. Awkward.

“When I visited the US the first time I was pretty perplexed to see this singing staff thing IRL.

Until then I thought this was only done in TV shows.

Everyone looked very awkward.”

3. Wasn’t a fan.

“It’s been 35 years since I worked there but I can still remember the Bennigan’s birthday song.

At that time, “Happy Birthday to You” couldn’t be sung by restaurant employees without a royalty payment. I h**ed doing it because, as my former colleagues from the south used to say, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Oh, we could modify it for anniversaries too.”

4. Maddening.

“Texas Roadhouse (steak and burger joint)…

Their f**king staff breaks out in line or square dancing in the aisles like every 30 minutes.

Wtf it’s maddening.”

5. Bad memories.

“I grew up in a town where there was a resturant that would send the staff over to your table with a giant, fake mounted moose head, sing to you & then tell you to kiss the moose’s nose.

My parents had it done for me when I was 5 and I hid under the table and started crying.”

6. No one will be spared.

“Canada does it too. Never witnessed such a thing in growing up in Australia though.

All parties looked extremely awkward, and it wasn’t just one waiter/waitress, they got almost the whole team except for the people in the kitchen to come over and do it.

Even the poor bartender wasn’t spared.”

7. Good point.

“It’s mostly the lower-end restaurants (a.k.a. chains) that do the singing.

Any place where entrees are, on average, about $20 or more isn’t going to be as cringey.”

8. Gotta be nice.

“I work in a family restaurant and we have no standard procedure we have to follow but if it’s a little kid I always do it because that’s kinda mean not to since a kid going to a family restaurant for their birthday is expecting it most of the time so I’m not gonna be the grinch that lets them down.

But because most of us do that for kids other customers are under the impression it’s part of our job to do it and expect us to and I will if the vibes are good but if I’m busy or you’re not a particularly good customer I’m gonna drop that s**t off and run like the wind.

Then probably send a coworker over with the bill because I feel awkward about my quick exit.”

9. It’s their thing.

“The places that sing happy birthday are a certain type of restaurant.

They are family restaurants. That’s their thing. For the most part, you don’t say you’re having a birthday if you don’t want them to sing to you. If you say it, then it’s assumed you want the staff to sing, and you tip the server for it.

I also worked in high end restaurants and we would put a candle on a $8 slice of cake if you wanted, but there was no singing.”

10. No singing.

“I manage a restaurant and we do not sing Happy Birthday.

We will do cake service with a cake the guest provides, but no singing.

We actually received a negative review from a person that was upset about it.”

11. Least favorite part of the job.

“I used to be a waiter and this was my least favourite part of the job.

This is why when I go to a restaurant on a birthday I make sure cake celebrations are at home.”

12. For real.

“Staff doesn’t like it.

Most customers find it embarrassing too.

Why is this still a thing?”

13. Be happy!

“I LOVED this as a kid for my birthday.

There was a restaurant near me that we would always go to and we had one waitress we loved. We always asked for her. On my birthday for a few years they would sing their type of birthday song. There’s picture of me during this and the look on her face and my face just says it all.

People might h**e this happy birthday thing and think it’s annoying but it’s the memories like this that last a very long time. If you’re a waiter or waitress and h**e this part of the job, you could be really making someone a lot happier, kid or adult.

That’s something to be very happy about.”

14. Enjoyed doing it!

“All my restaurant jobs, we always had fun with birthdays and everyone enjoyed getting a break from the normal monotony.

Never once found it a burden.”

Now we want to hear from you.

Tell us what you think about this in the comments.

Thanks a lot, dear friends!