Why Joel Torre opened a chicken restaurant

By Vincent Paul A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Sep 07 2013 08:56 AM | Updated as of Sep 07 2013 04:56 PM

MANILA - The name Joel Torre already paints a certain image in the head of many Filipinos, from his portrayal of the devious Juan Crisostomo Ibarra in the 1998 film "Jose Rizal" to his recent role as an inmate turned contract killer in the movie "On the Job."

But who would have guessed that Torre would also delve into the world of business? Not resting on his laurels, his awards, the recognition he already gained, Torre decided to open JT's Manukan Grille.

Why Joel Torre opened a chicken restaurant 1
Joel Torre keeps a close eye on his business, JT's Manukan Grille. Courtesy of My Puhunan Facebook page

On ABS-CBN's "My Puhunan," host Karen Davila caught up with Torre to find out if chickens do lay golden eggs.

"We love food and we love eating. That's where it all starts," he said.

In 2003, Torre started out with seven tables for all his customers and a plethora of movie posters of his past films to decorate his restaurant turned memory lane.

Davila said, while pointing to a framed movie poster of "Oro Plata Mata", that she was only in grade school when the film came out.

"Ako rin," quipped Torre.

At first, Torre thought of the business as a fall back, a reassurance against the unstable nature of show business.

"Pag nagkaka-edad ka na raw, 'yung market value mo bumababa," Torre admitted.

Today, each of the 21 branches of JT's Manukan Grille nationwide makes around P40,000 a day.

"I had a certain talent fee as an actor tapos sabi ko, 'naku, nahihigitan pa nito 'yung talent fee ko," Torre said.

According to the actor, consistency is key when it comes to the food business.

More and more people would come back "if you're consistent with your timpla," he said.

And his traditional Bacolod-style "chicken inasal" was an instant hit. Every branch cooks around 200 chickens per day during the lunch hour rush.

"We make sure that it's really fresh," he said.

Torre then shared the reason why he always wanted to make honest, hard-earned money, whether it be in acting or cooking.

"Natandaan ko sabi ng tatay, 'Joel, you only have one name. Make sure you take care of it," he said.