MLive’s Michigan’s Best searches for the best that Michigan offers in food, drink and entertainment.

Here are tips and FAQs for businesses that want to make the most of being part of a Michigan’s Best search, which strives to find the best food, drink and entertainment in Michigan. These searches are an immensely popular reader feature, bringing our state together and sparking hometown pride. Businesses who take part often report a sizeable increase in traffic, interest and sales.

What is a Michigan’s Best search?, Michigan’s largest news website, searches for the best that Michigan offers in food, drink and entertainment. Readership for these search stories is substantial. These reports are among our best read and most shared stories.

Who is the search team?

Reporters John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman. They bring a wealth of culinary experience, journalistic talent and buckets of enthusiasm with them as they travel the state. At times, MLive photojournalists join them during their stops.

How does the search work?

First, the search topic is announced. Then the search is broken into phases.

1) Nominations: Readers and even businesses nominate places that should be in the running. Every nominee is collected and put into the mix.

2) Voting: A process where MLive seeks reader input to help find local favorites. A top vote getter in a region will almost certainly get a visit by the team. In addition, the team does its research and puts other notable spots on their tours. Voting can affect the chances a business will get a visit. It doesn’t affect whether a business wins. Only taste and quality can do that.

3) Touring: The Michigan’s best team announces its itinerary on MLive, and then visits scores of establishments throughout Michigan and writes about each visit. Readers can follow along by reading stories each day.

4) Who’s best in Michigan: Winners are announced at the end of the search. Once the tours begin, it’s solely the team’s taste buds that will govern who gets named best in the state.

What happens during an MLive visit?

If you are finalist, MLive will contact you and set a time and day. John and Amy will be there, often with an MLive photographer and videographer alongside.

What if I win?

Get ready. Winners are announced on MLive. Past winners have all seen a lasting surge in business. Top 10 finalists and others in the search also report surges or upticks in business, during all phases of the search, including nominations, voting and touring.

How can I promote my business during these searches?

Using your Facebook and Twitter pages and other social media, post the MLive stories so your biggest fans know you’re participating. Use the hashtag #MIBest and tag @MLive. You may urge your customers to “support” you and “help you win” by taking part in the poll. (Avoid using the word “vote” on social media when possible.)

Use the Media Kit below to identify your business as part of an MLive search.