How do we bring budgets down? How do we manage tight budgets? What was the budget? Did they meet the budget? How did they meet the budget? How does that restaurant look so amazing with that budget?

Budget. It’s the word that crops up most frequently in reader requests. It pops up over and over and over again in reader surveys, questionnaires and even in person — it was a hot topic at our booth in February when our team was at The NAFEM Show. Even the judges for the annual rd+d awards whispered questions to themselves about cost and schedule as they pored over submissions last winter.

These are important questions to ask, and our editors push interviewees to share data with us (often clients won’t let them) to let us know what worked, what didn’t and why.

The second most-requested subject for rd+d to cover is how to manage owner expectations. Readers often pair this request with a desire to improve team relationships. Understanding how to set expectations for your team and how to manage the budget might just be the two most important skills readers of this publication have — and they sure seem to want to improve both.

Contributing writer Margie Monin Dombrowski’s feature A Balancing Act: The Art of Meeting Vision, Budget and Expectations is our attempt to take a big picture look at these often competing priorities. Don’t let the voices represented in the story be the only ones out there, however. Reach out and let us know your best practices in meeting the budget while managing expectations. You could end up in a future issue (even if it’s as an anonymous source with a blurred photo for your protection). Or you could end up on our recently relaunched website,!

Speaking of, please check the site out between issues. It’s designed to display on every device, from laptops to phones. And you’ll find original Q&As, short project profiles, development news and even Instagram roundups of some of our favorite restaurant designs. You can also find us on Instagram at the handles restaurantdesignmag and rddeditorbex.