Wiebe Bergsma - Director of New Orleans Pizza

Date: MAY 15th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Wiebe Bergsma is a management executive with over 39 years of restaurant experience. Wiebe started out as a dishwasher in a full service A & W in Richmond Hill, Ontario and has worked his way up to his current position as Director of Operations for New Orleans Pizza and 241 Pizza.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the New Orleans Pizza concept.

Wiebe Bergsma: New Orleans Pizza, founded in 1976 is a well established Canadian Brand operating across Canada. New Orleans Pizza is recognized as a pizza brand that offers high quality products. New Orleans Pizza offers menu items ranging from pizza, wings, sandwiches and assorted beverages.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with New Orleans Pizza?

WB: Our parent company (Chairmans Brands) acquired New Orleans Pizza in May of 2011.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining New Orleans Pizza?

WB: I have a wide and varied background in the restaurant industry and have worked for such companies as A & W, The Keg Restaurants, Burger King Canada, Pizza Hut and CARA Operations in both Quebec and Ontario.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a New Orleans Pizza franchisee?

WB: New Orleans Pizza offers individuals an opportunity to get into business for themselves at a relatively low cost of entry. The stores have a small footprint helping to keep the operating costs low. New Orleans Pizza is constantly developing and adding new products to keep the menu fresh and interesting for our customers.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

WB: Our ideal franchisee is an individual who understands and exemplifies the importance of providing high quality items at a reasonable price while maintaining outstanding customer service including a clean and inviting store.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Pizza Market?

WB: The pizza market can be lucrative while being very competitive. It is very important to deliver menu items at a great value. Customer service is an essential part of our Franchisee’s success. New Orleans Pizza has a very strong community involvement initiative.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

WB: A compatible partnership between the Franchisor and the Franchisee is critical to our overall success.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

WB: I receive inspiration from most of the people that I come into contact with. I find that I can learn something new from everyone. Listening to our Franchisees, our employees and my superiors is invaluable.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

WB: You must do your homework and do not be afraid to consult experts such as your lawyer and your accountant.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that New Orleans Pizza would be a great opportunity for someone?

WB: Pizza is still one the most economical meals available. It is relatively simple to deliver a great product at a reasonable price.