MANILA – While he is considered one of the top broadcasters in ABS-CBN today, Anthony Taberna does not want to rest on his laurels.
For years, the “Umagang Kay Ganda” host and radio DZMM commentator has been running his own business, Ka Tunying’s, which started as a community bakeshop in his hometown of Nueva Ecija in 2002, and is now a Filipino comfort food restaurant with three branches in Metro Manila.
“It’s a fallback for me,” Taberna said during the recent Franchise Asia Philippines 2017 conference, where he was a guest speaker along with Miss Universe 1999 first runner-up Miriam Quiambao.
“This career of mine won’t be forever. Baka ngayon may natutuwa pa sa akin, pero bukas wala na,” he added. “This business will help provide for my family.”
Taberna, who has been praised by viewers for his “hard-hitting” opinions on current issues, sees nothing wrong with using his name and influence to promote his business.
Expecting criticism, he said: “Strike while the iron is hot. Ano pa ang silbi ng ‘Tunying’ na ‘yan kung gagamitin ‘yan sa business nang wala na ako sa TV or sa radio? Tutal marami namang manggagamit dito, let’s use my name in good things like this.”
“Halos lahat ng staff namin ay regular employees,” he continued, noting how he has been tackling the issue of contractual labor in the country. “Hindi puwedeng may ‘endo,’ you have to practice what you preach.”
Speaking of critics and rivals, one of the branches of Ka Tunying’s is located right in front of GMA Network, which Taberna described as “my employer’s fiercest competitor.”
This, the broadcaster explained, was not intentional. He initially wanted to have Ka Tunying’s in the vicinity of ABS-CBN, but they were unable to secure a spot.
They ended up opening across GMA, which is just a few minutes away.
“We wanted it (Ka Tunying’s) to be near ABS, pero wala kaming mahanap na puwesto... so sa GMA kami nagtayo,” he said with a smile.
“At least doon, hindi ako tinatantanan!” he added, drawing laughter from the audience as he delivered a line popularized by GMA News anchor Mike Enriquez.
This branch of Ka Tunying’s has since been supported not only by Taberna’s fans, but also employees and talents of GMA Network, including Enriquez.
Taberna happily shared that his three Ka Tunying’s branches – the two others are located at Visayas Avenue and Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – are doing well.
Taberna stressed, however, that running restaurants is not as simple as using one’s celebrity status.
He cited rent as their biggest challenge, saying that they pay around P300,000 a month to occupy the space across GMA.
Another is maintaining the quality of food and service. “Kasi isang guest lang na hindi satisfied sa food mo or sa service, social media na agad ‘yan. There’s no room for any mistake,” he said.
Meanwhile, Taberna said they have been planning a system for franchising for Ka Tunying’s after receiving several queries from interested parties.
“Ang totoo niyan, as early as December last year, we were planning to launch a franchise para sa mga applicants. Marami kasi eh, sobra… but we were not prepared then,” he shared.
“Naisip namin na baka hindi pa kami handa… Kawawa naman ‘yung mga franchisee namin. We’re just waiting for the right time… para maging open kami for applications,” he ended.