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food court photo

Brentwood’s Feel Good Fridays (P.S. There is such a thing as a free lunch.)

If you thought Fridays (being Fridays) couldn’t get any better, I have some news for you. Try visiting Brentwood Town Centre between noon and 2pm on any Friday and you’ll see what I mean. Between the DJ pumping danceable beats, the magician, the free massages and the personal towel service, it’s hard to know where to start feeling good. Oh, and then there’s the possibility of a free lunch, coffee or treat. Yes, free. Let’s start at the beginning.

Feel Good Fridays started a while ago, with the intent of “giving back to the community, while also celebrating Fridays and helping people kick off the weekend with some fun,” explains Samia Massoud, Marketing Manager for Brentwood Town Centre. When I visited this past Friday, Brentwood seemed less like a mall and more like a party. Picture this: a bright and comfortable World Lounge with several large-screen televisions, cozy chairs and plush sofas where you can relax, enjoy and revel in soccer’s biggest event. When I was there, the area was bustling with activity and chatter, with people cheering on their favourite teams. Of course, this is not officially part of Feel Good Fridays and more of a World Cup-related event, but it’s hard not to mention it when people were obviously feeling good. Right? Meanwhile… upstairs, as part of the Feel Good Friday event, the DJ was blasting beats in the airy food court, much to the delight of many patrons. (Normally, the DJ rocks the downstairs area, but has been moved upstairs during the World Cup to make room for the World Lounge.)

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During my visit, a toddler was rockin’ out to “Happy” on the makeshift dance floor in front of the DJ. Indeed, Samia said that between the hours of noon to 2pm on Fridays, the area in front of the DJ has often turned into a random, spontaneous dance party. Turn around the corner, and you’ll find the free neck and shoulder massages. Yep, free. Each massage lasts about 10 minutes, and is completely complimentary. (Hey, it’s not called Feel Good Fridays for nothing.) And then there’s the free lunch. Here’s how it works: Every Friday, about a half-dozen or so guests are targeted and treated to a free meal, coffee or snack. The mall’s guest service representatives (or lunch angels, as I call them) wander the mall every Friday in search of making some exceptionally lucky patrons feel very good. When I recently joined Samia and Jessica (the lunch angel) on our mall walkabout, we headed for the food court where Jessica spotted our first lucky recipient of the day, Robyn, about to pay for her A&W lunch. Well, Jessica stepped in and picked up her tab. As expected, Robyn was thrilled. “This is what it’s all about,” Samia turned to me with a smile. “Our Feel Good Fridays are all about creating a positive experience and making someone’s day.”

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Our next lucky guest was Stan. Brentwood’s lunch angel Jessica swooped in and paid the bill for his turkey sandwich at Roasty Jack. The reaction? “This is very wonderful,” Stan grinned from ear to ear. A regular at Brentwood, Stan comes to the shopping centre “often” to lunch and shop and “this will definitely keep me coming back,” he told me. “This shows good interest in the people coming here,” he added. “And people will react well.” Our next stop? To make someone’s day at Starbucks. In this case, Ida – whose triple grande latte was bought and paid for. Her reaction is encapsulated in a single word: “Awesome!” In total, Jessica treated a total of seven people that day. We strolled from the food court to Starbucks to McDonald’s to COBS Bread, where Jessica picked out a young couple – Kevin and Katharina – and bought their bread for the week. Pleasantly surprised, Kevin happily thanked Jessica, joking that their bread will “taste even better now that it’s free.” And it doesn’t stop there. Every two months or so, Brentwood builds on its Feel Good Fridays. The newest addition – a warm towel service – was added about three weeks ago. As part of this service, warm towels are handed out to food court patrons finishing up their lunch – another first-class service. Every other day of the week, watch for the friendly greeters at the mall doors and strolling guest service representatives handing out mints on shiny silver trays – not to mention the very next add-on service, coming in a few weeks’ time. As for me, I think it might as well be “Feel Good Everyday” at Brentwood – though this program specifically focuses on Fridays. And at Brentwood Town Centre, it really is all about feeling good on Fridays – and it’s first class all the way. Who knows, maybe you could be the next lucky target? Of course, there’s only one way to find out.

Tourism Burnaby and Brentwood Town Centre want to give you the chance to win a $50 Brentwood Town Gift Card to have your own “Feel Good Friday”. There are two ways to enter: 1) Follow Tourism Burnaby and Brentwood Town Centre on Twitter and tweet out the following message: I entered to win a Feel Food Friday $50 gift card from @Tourism_Burnaby & @BrentwoodInfo 2) Correctly fill out the form below. Constestants can enter once each way for a total of two entries. Contest ends July 31st, 2014.

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