Dario Lorenzo, the entrepreneur behind the successful chain of restaurants “Dario’s Boodle Fight”, started from the bottom and worked his way to be on top.
Born into poverty, Lorenzo knew he had to make life-changing decisions in order to break the cycle.
“Nung bata ako, salat sa pagkain. So yung mga magulang namin nung time na yun, may mga sakit sila. Tatay ko lumpo. Nanay ko may sakit sa puso,” he said during his interview with ABS-CBN’s My Puhunan.
A high school graduate, Lorenzo started working as a janitor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) when he first came to Manila. Eventually, he got hired as a waiter in a popular restaurant. For more than a decade, Lorenzo honed his expertise as a waiter in restaurants in Makati City and Tagaytay City.
Lorenzo then flew to Abu Dhabi to work in the service industry for five years. Because of hard work and dedication, he was promoted as captain waiter and eventually as supervisor.
Despite his huge achievements, Lorenzo decided to go back to the Philippines and launch his own restaurant business. His former bosses served as his inspiration to start a restaurant business that would cater to the mass but would also entice the rich.
“Ang iniisip kong itayo ay yung pang-masa. Yung hindi mahirap i-benta. Kaya ng mahirap, gusto din ng mayaman,” Lorenzo explained.
In 2010, he put up the first branch of Dario’s Boodle Fight in Suki Market. Although his business didn’t immediately pick-up, Lorenzo didn’t give up.
“Pag sumuko, lalong walang mangyayari saken. So kailangan sipag, lakas ng loob. Pag nawala yung dalawa na yun, maduduwag ka. Yung gusto mong tahakin, di mo na mapupuntahan,” Lorenzo shared.
“Yung itatayo kong ito para sa mga anak ko, sa edukasyon nila. Kaya nagsikap akong mabuti,” he added.
After a few months, he witnessed how his sales increased from about P3,000 to more than P5,000 a day. Seeing the opportunity, he decided to put up other branches. Currently, Dario’s Grill has four branches.
When asked about his secret to success, Lorenzo revealed that the quality of food and service they provide sets them apart from other players in the food industry. Indeed, his years of experience in the service industry helped in the success of his business.
“Dati sabi ko sa mga kasamahan ko kayo magluto ako mag-wewaiter. Kasi dining kabisado ko yan. Pagbutihin niyo dyan ako dito. Once na tandem tayo, masarap luto niyo dito ako, tataas tayo. Masarap luto niyo pangit ang seservice sa inyo, babagsak tayo,” Lorenzo said.