Instead of waiting for more projects, award-winning actor Joel Torre wanted to use his time earning passive income. Growing up, his mother had a food catering business in Bacolod City. So, he thought that a chicken inasal business would be a good idea.
Joel and his wife, Cristy tried and tested many recipes to develop their own best version of grilled chicken, cooked and marinated the Ilonggo way.
What started as a food-take counter in 2003 has now grown into a full-service restaurant named JT’s Manukan Grille with more than 18 branches. With little background in business, how did Joel attain success?
He shared some of his business lessons from Esquire that will surely be helpful to all aspiring businesses.
1. Seek Advice From Successful Entrepreneurs
Joel wasn’t able to finish his marketing degree in college, so he learned the business from scratch. He also would seek advice from other big-time businessmen.
He didn’t hesitate to seek advice from friends and learned from the customers’ feedback on how he could improve his business. Even when they were still developing their marinades, Joel asked and learned from his parents and aunts.
2. It’s Okay To Earn A Little As Long As It’s Continuous
Joel learned to make business using the Chinese principle of “konti kita pero tuloy-tuloy .” He recalled that his first customers from Filipino-Chinese businessmen. He would often hang out with them and learn from their advice.
One of his best business lessons is to learn to manage the profit margin. JT’s Manukan Grille lives by the 4M principle of “Masarap, Mura, Malinis, at Masaya.” He wanted to offer affordable foods that people would keep coming back to.
“One important thing I learned was about the Chinese way of doing business, which is konti kita pero tuloy-tuloy. High-end restaurants may have big margins but they only make money during weekends, while in my business where I put little margin, I can make money every day,” he said.
3. Know Your Target Market
According to Joel, it’s essential to know who your customers are and what their needs are. The original JT’s Manukan restaurants were originally designed to have a more provincial ambiance for a more relaxed feel. It’s more suitable for families or those looking for good and affordable foods and won’t feel intimated with a modern-expensive look.
There you have it! If you want to know more lessons from celebrity turned businessmen, you can also learn how Marvin Agustin transitioned to becoming a restaurateur or how Marian Rivera launched a clothing line.