How Restaurant Business Won ASBPE’s Website Of The Year

Restaurant Business Online’s commitment to high-quality journalism, ambitious projects, interactive design and a compelling user experience led it to win the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ Website of the Year award in 2023 – the top honor bestowed to online publications in the B2B media space. 

In recognizing the publication, the ASBPE judges said: “Restaurant Business Online showcases excellent reporting and analysis with a website that is interactive, has high energy, provides a full library of information, and – we had to admit – is really FUN to browse.”

Restaurant Business - The Best of Restaurant Business 2022

What Restaurant Business does at a high level may seem simple – but it’s hard to do. 

ASBPE Vice President Davide Savenije spoke with Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Maze about the publication’s success, and what led to it. Maze spoke about the importance of a strong team culture, an unwavering commitment to high journalistic standards, the comfort level with taking risks and pursuing ambitious ideas, and the way that art and design come together to elevate the whole publication for readers. 

“You have to have high standards — we’re almost religious about them and don’t compromise,” Maze said over the phone. “If McDonald’s changed the way it made burgers every single time — if they compromise — they wouldn’t be as popular. People know what they’re going to get. They know why they go there.”

Maze sees his team’s job clearly: “Our job is to cover the restaurant industry as best as we can — we approach it just like any credible news organization would.”

Restaurant Business - Untangling the Supply Chain

The team prides itself on being ambitious, pushing the envelope and its ability to take on difficult topics for its audience. “I’m personally not really interested in writing about the same stuff that everyone else does. Getting behind the news into why it matters is really important,” he said. “We do like taking on really tough projects, and we will take risks in doing so.” 

Maze highlighted the importance of not only having a talented team, but a strong culture that emphasizes a high degree of collaboration. “Guiding that team is like taking a Great Dane for a walk,” he said. “You’re not really taking the dog for a walk so much as it’s taking you.”

Maze emphasized that the publication is not just the work of its reporters and editors. “The visuals really matter. The words are super important, but presenting things in a way that people will enjoy as much as they do the stories is vital,” he said.  “Our art director participates in everything we do — he’s involved at every single stage of production on any project, helping with social media, day-to-day stuff, graphics. It gives everything an upgraded look. Plus, he’s fun to work with!”

Restaurant Business - Killer in the Kitchen

Maze said that awards programs like the Azbee Awards are a “powerful motivator” for him and the team. “It’s my favorite thing to do every year: assess what we’ve done, pick out what’s award worthy and celebrate the best. The team loves it and it pushes them toward our goals.” 

Disclosure: Davide Savenije is the editor-in-chief of Industry Dive, a business owned by Informa. Informa also recently acquired Winsight, which owns and operates Restaurant Business.

Davide Savenije

Davide Savenije is the editor-in-chief at Industry Dive. He leads the strategy and direction of Industry Dive's fast-growing newsroom with 20+ trade publications for 2+ million subscribers. Savenije helped define and build Industry Dive's editorial vision, strategy, culture, and team of 100+ world-class business journalists. Before becoming editor-in-chief, he started his career as an intern at Industry Dive in 2012 and wore many hats as an editor and manager in leading the development of publications like Utility Dive and Retail Dive into industry leaders.

Savenije currently serves as vice president of the ASBPE National Board of Directors.

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