So You Want to Nominate A Restaurant...

Details and discussion about the FNA program
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...fabulous! Food Nerd Approved is a community effort, and the more the community participates, the more fun and more valuable it will be. If there's a restaurant or other food-related establishment that you'd like the community to consider, there are a few things to go over before you post your nomination.

Timing
First thing's first. Are nominations open? The nomination period for the 2015 FNAs opens at 11:00 AM on Monday, May 4th, and closes two weeks later at 12:01 AM on Monday, May 17th (meaning late Sunday night... don't wait until Monday the 17th to post your nomination!). If it isn't between those times, your nomination will have to wait until next year. But in the meantime, be sure to organize some get-togethers and post about your restaurant! The more people fall in love with it between now and the next nomination period, the more likely it'll become Food Nerd Approved when you finally nominate it.

Eligibility
Are you a registered member of PHXfoodnerds.com? You have to be a registered member to make a nomination. But registration is free and anybody can join at any time. If you've been lurking, don't hesitate -- we'd love to have you join in! Are you affiliated with the restaurant you want to nominate? Best not to nominate your own restaurant. Folks who work in the industry are entirely welcome to join the discussion at PHXfoodnerds.com, and even to nominate other restaurants, but to avoid any impropriety, please don't nominate a restaurant with which you have some form of official involvement. Is the restaurant located in the greater Phoenix area? That's important. The FNAs honor restaurants and other food-related establishments in the greater Phoenix area only. Have you already made two nominations this year? Each member is allowed up to two nominations per nomination period -- one to renew a restaurant from last year's list, and one to add a new restaurant to the list. So choose carefully! Has somebody else already nominated the same restaurant this year? There's no need for multiple nominations. Lend your support to that nomination, and use yours for another restaurant instead!

Qualifications
Is the food exceptional? Of course it is, or you wouldn't nominate it. But has it garnered the love and admiration of the PHXfoodnerds community? The FNA panel will strongly consider comments of support after the nomination is made, but the FNAs are intended to highlight and honor places that have become special to the community. A nominee has to have a history of discussion on the board to be considered for an FNA. If there hasn't already been a good amount of discussion about the restaurant you're considering, it might be best to save that nomination for next year, when the posting record will hopefully be a little more robust, and use this year's nominations for another restaurant instead.

Okay, it's the nomination period, your restaurant is eligible, nobody has nominated it yet, you think it's a great choice, and there's a history of positive discussion about it on the board. Here's how to post your nomination:

Post the Nomination
In the Food Nerd Approved 2015 forum, start a new topic using the name of the restaurant as your title. Though that's technically all you need to do to make a nomination, this is your nomination... you'll need to make your case!

Why This Restaurant?
Why do you think this restaurant should be Food Nerd Approved? Is it the spectacular food? What about it? Is it the atmosphere or the people who run the place? How do they separate their restaurant from others that make the same kind of food? Are there other factors that make this restaurant special? Tell us why you think this restaurant should be Food Nerd Approved.

Food Nerd Support
Has this restaurant gotten the PHXfoodnerds community excited? Have we held events there? Are there other people on the board who love it? You may want to mention how the community has rallied behind this restaurant, or even pull a few quotes from the discussion as examples.

Pertinent Information
Others will be considering whether or not to lend their support to your nominee, and there are a couple of things you can provide that will help them out. First, it's a good idea to add links to the existing topics where the restaurant is discussed so that others can easily find and review what's already been said. Second, it's also a good idea to post the restaurant's name, website and address so that people who haven't yet been there can make a last-minute visit and weigh in if they like.

And now that your nomination is posted...

Discuss!
Don't disappear... stick around to discuss your nominee! People may support your nomination, or they may argue against it. Others may have questions that you can answer. Discussion is the life blood of the board, and that goes as much for the Food Nerd Approved forum as it does for the regular discussion forums.

That's it! Once the discussion period has ended, the FNA panel will review the nomination thread as well as all discussion of the restaurant over the previous year, and the list of Food Nerd Approved restaurants will be posted in this forum on Monday, June 1st.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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