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One-on-one with Restaurateur Benjamin Nasberg of Carbone Restaurants

Restaurateur Benjamin Nasberg once had his sights set on med school. That was before he discovered the innovative food and beverage industry and dove right in – a decision that would result in notable success for both him and his endeavours.

Nasberg’s foray into the industry saw him as a manager of a nightclub that he is now part owner of, along with a popular sports bar concept that he developed in Winnipeg.

When presented with an investment opportunity to become the managing partner of Carbone Coal Fired Pizza in 2011, he used it as a chance to create a fresh new flavour of pizza restaurant concept that Winnipeg had never enjoyed before.

As the current CEO and partner of the Carbone Restaurant brand, Nasberg remains committed to rapidly expanding the beloved Winnipeg-based company across Canada and beyond, changing the way pizza lovers consume the comforting dish.

Hot off the heels of Carbone’s announced collab with famed Australian chef Pete Evans, we sat down with Nasberg to talk about his journey into the foodservice industry, how he remains motivated, and the trends he sees impacting the food and beverage sector in the next few years.

Here’s what he had to say:

When and why did you start your business? 

I got started in 2011; I decided to get involved with my friends in business as it seemed like it was a natural element for me to be in.

When you first started your business, what was your focus on?

Building a team up in a way that would eventually allow me to continue building my dream.

What are the most important or surprising lessons you learned along the way? 

You have to make decisions based off of facts, you can’t let emotion drive your business decisions. It can be part of the process, but it cannot be the main element. You also need to be able to step back an evaluate how things are really going, as it can be a blur when you are involved in the business.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be? 

Hiring people that supported my weakness very early on. Trying to do everything yourself is not efficient and ends up costing you more in the long run.

What do you love most about having your own business? 

Being able wake up everyday with no limit of what can be done next. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to keep building something every day.

How many people are on your team? 

Just over 100.

What are some goals that you have for your business? 

To be a successful, worldwide brand name.

What are some of your biggest challenges? 

Keeping in regular contact with everyone, including my wife!

What is your proudest business achievement? 

Selling our first franchised location, that really put things into perspective as to where we were going from there.

What are some of the ways that your business contributes to your community? 

Not only do we source our products from local suppliers (which helps play an active role in keeping our economy strong) but we always give back to foundations that are meaningful to our team. This includes foundations that help employee troubled youth, feed, or supply clothing to the homeless, allow kids to partake in sports groups, and even support animal shelters.

What keeps you inspired and motivated to continue doing what you’re doing? 

My team! They let me do what I need to do reach our company goals, they’re always there for me any time I need.

What do you do to ensure that you have a good work-life balance? 

I think this is something I still need to work on, I will let you know when I find out what to do!

What are some of the reasons why Canada is a great place to run a foodservice business? 

Canada is great in so many ways, but dealing with the people is truly the best. Interacting with the people on a face-to-face basis, providing pizza, well, that just makes anyone happy! So does most food, but especially good ol’ pizza.

What three trends do you see impacting your business most over the next year? 

Third-party delivery services, new lifestyle trends (as we see new generations rise in numbers and in buying power), and increased competition.

What’s your favourite inspirational quote or words of wisdom? 

Work everyday like there is someone working twice as hard to try and take it all away.

What is one piece of advice you would give to somebody thinking about opening their own business? 

Make sure you partner with and hire educated people with experience that are better at areas of the business that you’re not great at. Make sure it’s clear as to what each person’s role is and communication is key. Nothing worse than a breakdown in communication where everyone is working on the same area of the business while there are multiple levels of the business to attend to. Meet often. Make mistakes, and make changes fast.

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