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Getting A Free Lunch In High Point

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Whether they fly in a master chef from the factory in Europe, or offer a tantalizing choice of Eastern or Western style North Carolina barbecue, managers at High Point furniture showrooms agree, serving complementary refreshments to hungry and thirsty market guests is good business. A recent survey by the International Home Furnishings Market Authority indicates that the ever-increasing scope and sophistication of the culinary offerings provided by showrooms and their exhibitors is considered by most to be a valuable marketing tool that provides a tangible return on investment. "There's a lot to be said for a free lunch," said Heinz Kattenfeld, General Manager at 220 Elm. "Palliser has offered excellent meals for their customers since the late '80's, and since then, through the initiative of many of our exhibitors, 220 Elm has enhanced the dining experience every market. Palliser flies in three chefs to oversee breakfast lunch and dinner, Jesper Office imports their corporate chef from Denmark, and Linon flies in a chef specializing in Greek and Brazilian cuisine. Our other showrooms work with local restaurants to provide a quality experience for our customers." Karen Wedemeyer, Marketing Manager at Commerce and Design, agreed that complimentary live entertainment, fine wines and delicious food enrich ongoing relationships and are an effective way of showing appreciation for showroom visitors. Every Friday of Market the C&D building throws “a buyer appreciation party,” with a different style of food, beverage and live music on each of the eight floors. “We have something for every taste,” Wedemeyer admitted, “If you're into blues, you may want to check out Kings & Peaches on the sixth floor with its Mexican Fiesta menu. Or, for a more mellow atmosphere, the wine and cheese crowd may prefer the third floor and perennial favorite, Rob Massengale's Jazz Trio." At the Market Square, the spacious courtyard provides fresh air and outdoor ambience, making it a relaxing venue for “hanging out and networking” all day, and for hosting festive tent parties at night, according to Merchandise Mart Properties High Point Vice President Karen Olson. “We’ve taken the buyer convenience options a step further this Market. Our Buyers Lounge in the Plaza Suites will be open from 8 am to 7 pm serving free breakfast, lunch, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres throughout the day. We’ll provide comfy sofas and chairs for relaxing and high speed internet, fax, and phone access for conducting business.” Hamilton Square distinguishes its cuisine by the breadth of regional offerings. A complimentary lunch is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday and an elegant brunch is served on Sunday. Special attention is given to providing an authentic dining experience. Kathryn Giles, Assistant to the General Manager, boasted that the New York style pizza tastes like it was flown in from Little Italy and entices the buyers back year after year. “The only complaint we get about our NC Bar B Que on Fridays is that it is so hard to decide which one is tastier,” she added. Comprehensive information about the free refreshments and events available at the April High Point Home Furnishing Market to those with an authorized Market pass is available on the IHFMA website at www.highpointmarket.org.

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