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Publisher's Viewpoint - Robin Ashton

Publisher's Viewpoint - Robin AshtonFounding partner Robin Ashton, president and publisher, is a true industry veteran in spite of is boyish appearance, he's covered foodservice since 1978, and E&S exclusively since 1982, as an editor and publisher at several magazines.


See all of Robin's blogs and comments


Thank You For Making Us Number One

September 01, 2012

When you do something again and again for a long time, there’s a danger you get complacent. We’ve been doing Foodservice Equipment Reports for nearly 17 years now. So, we thought it might be time to check with you all and see how we’re doing. I’m happy to report you say we’re doing our job.

Last spring, we asked Harvey Research, one of the leading media research firms, to create and field a readership study of publications in the foodservice market. Like most things, there are many ways to do reader research and some are better than others. We wanted it to be fair. We wanted it to be credible. And we didn’t want to fool ourselves, or anyone else.

So Harvey created a study that used neutral lists, such as Chain Store Guide directories, the restaurantchains.net database and association member lists. The recipients of the e-mail survey did not know which publication sponsored the study. And for every question, they showed pictures of the covers of the magazines, to limit confusion. And then they made sure they received enough responses, more than 900, to make the study reliable.

Harvey sent us the results and their analysis in early May. Over the broad E&S market, FER is clearly the most widely received, best read and most trusted magazine for information on E&S products in the market. More folks say we provide the best, most reliable info of E&S products. More folks rely on FER for product info when they make a purchase. More folks would choose FER if they could only get one magazine about E&S.

One way we know the study is credible is that we don’t win everything. Commercial operators read Nation’s Restaurant News, noncommercial operators read Food Management and FoodService Director, dealers read Foodservice Equipment & Supplies. But when one analyzes the segment data, FER is always either number one or two. And when it comes to E&S specific questions, FER is dominant.

We feel pretty good about the results. But this doesn’t mean we’re resting on our laurels. Beth Lorenzini and the editorial staff have many new ideas for expanding coverage of topics and issues, while still providing you with the most authoritative E&S product coverage anywhere. We’re always fine-tuning our website and enewsletters. We’re working on our next MUFES for Noncommercial Operators, set for June 10-12, 2013. And we’re also having fun creating our new awards and planning for our new awards event Feb.8, 2013 at The NAFEM Show.

We just can’t rest on our laurels. But they are fun to look at.

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