Interview with Benjamin Nasberg, CEO of Carbone Restaurant Group


Aug 04, 2022

Benjamin Nasberg of Winnipeg, MB has over 15 years experience in all aspects of the restaurant industry including marketing and operations. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Carbone Restaurant Group, he is constantly researching development of new concepts and leveraging innovative technologies to delight customers. Under Benjamin’s leadership, CRG is actively engaged in the Quick Service Restaurant sector, ghost kitchen brands that specialize in AP-driven takeout service, and high tech pizza-making robotics. With his leadership, CRG aims to become the leader in QSR across Canada- and it's already making waves.

. What’s the story behind CRG & FAST FIRED?

Benjamin Nasberg: The Carbone Restaurant Group (CRG) was founded in 2010 to capitalize on the rapidly growing pizza market. CRG developed a fast-casual pizza brand called FAST FIRED by Carbone. FAST FIRED by Carbone focuses on quality, customization, and convenience for the customer. In fact, FAST is our acronym for Fresh, Authentic (Italian), Sustainable and Tailor-made pizzas and salads. FAST FIRED by Carbone is Your Pizza, Your Way. With over a million different topping combinations offered at one price, there is something for everyone at FAST FIRED by Carbone.

. What made you decide to create this franchise?

Benjamin Nasberg: After owning and operating my own restaurant for several years, and not liking the franchise opportunities available, I wanted to create our own model so that our franchises align with our core values of sustainability, customization and convenience. We have scaled and continue to grow that model through the systems that we spent more than 5 years perfecting ensuring our restaurants and brands align with our core values.

. What was your background prior to forming the company?

Benjamin Nasberg: I have over 15 years of extensive experience in operations, business development and marketing in the hospitality industry.

. Can you tell us about the fast-casual / restaurant market?

Benjamin Nasberg: We often refer to this as the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) model, which has seen the largest rise in revenue compared to all other food service categories. Globally, QSR topped $45.1 billion in revenues in 2018, and what is important to remember is that Canada remains an untapped market for premium quick service pizza. The potential is simply amazing and we plan to capitalize on that.

. Could you describe your corporate culture?

Benjamin Nasberg: We are progressive, polite yet bold, and forward thinking. We share ideas and then move forward in ways that align with each of our values of sustainability, customization and convenience. We are easy-going and not big on formalities. Our corporate culture supports our growth as individuals and professionals but encourages fun along the way. Our culture gives everyone the best opportunity to share ideas and be a part of the journey towards creating a sustainable chain of restaurant concepts that we can stand behind and be proud of for many years to come.

. Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?

Benjamin Nasberg: My grandparents - they were very supportive and positive people. They treated everyone with respect and were always doing something positive for the business community. They provided me with guidance and the tools to maintain the core values of honesty, integrity and respect.

. What are the advantages in being a FAST FIRED franchisee?

Benjamin Nasberg: There are many advantages in being a FAST FIRED by Carbone franchisee and we work hard to help all our store owners become successful. We provide turn-key support for just about everything someone would need including assistance with funding options, site selection, construction, supplier sourcing, and management and operational procedures. We have an extensive training program, operations manuals and proven systems. We provide full marketing support locally and nationally with our custom app, online ordering and reward tracking. We also offer franchisees strategic partnerships with major retailers.

. What differentiates FAST FIRED by Carbone from its competitors?

Benjamin Nasberg: Our pizza uses the freshest ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible. Our pizzas are authentic Italian-style. We are sustainable; not only offering many plant-based menu options from our supplier Modern Meat, but also we are committed to reduce waste and to minimize our use of non-recyclable disposable products. We actively pursue products that allow us to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible.

In addition, and of significant importance to our customers, our pizzas are tailor made. You choose the dough, the sauce, the cheeses and whatever toppings you like. There are over million topping combinations - all at the same price. Offering quality taste convenience, customers are in and out in just a matter of minutes.

. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?

Benjamin Nasberg: I would advise someone to partner with a group that aligns with your values because it is a long-term relationship. Also, have passion for your business and work hard. Franchises put many systems and procedures and practices in place but it is the franchisee who brings these to life and with ongoing commitment, can see continued success and growth.

. In your opinion, why do you think that FAST FIRED would be a great opportunity for someone?

Benjamin Nasberg: First, who doesn’t like fresh delicious pizza? We are a smart, innovative and youthful but experienced team committed to ensuring our franchisees experience success. Working together, we can accomplish anything and reach our goals both financially and in quality of life.