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.