As of today, there are 16 days until the eve of Jan. 1, 2014. Wow, 2014.

At Nation’s Restaurant News, our annual Year in Review section is one of our favorites. We present a full look through top stories, breakthrough TV ads and lists of craveable menu items at NRN.com/2013-year-review.

This year I’ve been lucky to be able to use this space to write about and provide opinions on some of the biggest topics hitting restaurants, like minimum wage, service practices, and digital marketing and social branding. I’ve explored brand success with looks at NRN’s Hot Concepts and Golden Chain award winners, and shared insights from the people who make the restaurant industry great, from the late Fritzi Woods of the Women’s Foodservice Forum to Ignite Restaurant Group’s chief executive Ray Blanchette and National Restaurant Association chairman Phil Hickey.

The goal, first and foremost, is to provide a springboard into the valuable content in the magazine and at NRN.com. I also try to share insights from the people I talk to and events I’m able to attend. Finally, I like to share a little piece of who I am, which has allowed me to engage with NRN readers more than ever before.

What this space is rarely used for? Touting how powerful NRN is — and the people who make it the leading foodservice media brand. As journalists, we would rather provide news, analysis, competitive business intelligence and perspectives than speak about ourselves. But at year’s end, it’s important to celebrate those important to us. For me, that’s the NRN editorial staff. Let me share a few reasons why:

14 people, nearly 140 years: It’s my 10th anniversary with NRN in 2014, and I’m still considered a newbie. The expertise, knowledge and deep industry connection this editorial team has — not to mention its sheer size — is unparalleled. 

5 states: We’re based in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas and California. We have the largest restaurant markets covered — and we enjoy healthy competition among ourselves over regional foods, sports and who has the best commutes.

1,660 pages: We’ve filled 24 magazines with news, special reports and insights on everything from the biggest restaurant chains to the newest brands. No other media outlet in B2B foodservice media comes close.

More than 3 million unique visitors: More people visit NRN.com than any other foodservice website. They come for the content this editorial team tirelessly creates, the videos we curate and the competitive, benchmarking data we provide.

29 million newsletters delivered: Through NRN a.m., restaurant segment verticals, breaking news alerts and menu trend information, this team creates, produces and sends the vast NRN audience what it needs to make business decisions each day.

A band, a theater performance, world travel, 10 children, 4 dogs and countless nights in Brooklyn: The mix of talents, backgrounds, interests and styles makes us who we are and brings perspective to the people and industry we cover. 

If this was 2013, I can’t wait for 2014. See you next year.

Contact Sarah E. Lockyer at sarah.lockyer@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @slockyerNRN.