2018 Best of 225: How does it work?

We address the questions most frequently asked about the Best of 225 Awards—because rumors aren’t always true.

Who picked this year’s winners?
You did! 225 area residents were invited to nominate and vote for candidates at 225batonrouge.com. Anyone residing in a greater Baton Rouge ZIP code and with a valid email address could participate.

How does voting work?
It’s a two-part process:

Round 1—Nominations: On a fill-in-the-blank ballot, participants can write in their favorite local businesses and people. This year, nominations ran Jan. 25 – Feb. 16.

Round 2—Voting: The people and businesses that received the most nominations in each category are listed on the ballot. Voting was open March 8 – April 3 this year.

How many times can people nominate and vote?
Each participant was able to nominate and/or vote for each category one time. Our tech team ensures that votes can’t be rigged or stacked.

What happened to the Best __________ category? I saw it during nominations, but it disappeared during voting. Did you eliminate it?
Most likely, yes. Our team treats nominations as a time to test out new categories. Sometimes it becomes clear certain categories are not yet a fit for our audience. If response is low and there aren’t enough nominations to generate a good pool of competitors (at least five nominees), the category is removed. But that doesn’t mean we won’t try it again in the future!

My favorite business wasn’t on your ballot! Why won’t you add a write-in option?
We do have a write-in option: our nomination period. The entire ballot is comprised of whatever businesses or people our readers nominate in each category. Whether they end up on the final ballot is determined entirely by how many people nominate them for a category.

So it’s just a popularity contest?
Winners are chosen by how many votes they received, so naturally the most well-known, beloved businesses in town are more likely to win. But we like to think Best of 225 is about more than just the winners. There are plenty of smaller, up-and-coming businesses moving up the ranks. If you’re searching for hidden gems, check out the runners up.

I’ve heard it’s just advertisers who win. Is that true?
No. 225 has many advertisers who have never won an award. We also have longtime, repeat winners who have never advertised with us. We uphold the highest ethical journalism standards, and the winners of Best of 225—as well as the subjects of every story in the magazine—are never determined by advertising.

Why don’t you have a category for ________________?
We publish a new Best of 225 Awards edition each year. To keep things fresh, we switch up our categories each year—adding a few new ones and bringing back some old favorites. Feel free to leave suggestions for new categories in the comments online. We’ll take them into consideration as we plan the 2019 awards.

When will nominations and voting open next year?
Watch 225batonrouge.com in early January 2019 for instructions on how to participate.

I still have questions. How can I contact the magazine?
You can reach our team at [email protected] for more info. We will be happy to answer your questions.

See the 2018 Best Of 225 Food & Drink winners.

See the 2018 Best Of 225 Shopping & Services winners.

See the 2018 Best Of 225 People & Entertainment winners.