Ronald Torres. SEEAMBASSADOR FILE PHOTO
When he became tired of following stringent company rules & procedures, he started to make his own company and was eventually able to prove his worth as an outstanding ‘boss’ instead of being a mere luxury ship food and beverage attendant for a lifetime.
His catering business is a money-spinner nowadays and going back to the sea, the very last time he thought of it, rather turned to be just another good idea to forget.
Indeed, Mr. Ronald Torres of Norzagaray, Bulacan is an inspiring seafarer-turned-businessman to follow.
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After finishing Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management in Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Mesa, Manila campus, he started working as a waiter in one catering company in Makati City. Then, he had applied for a cruise ship job. Luckily, he was hired and had started sailing when he was just 22 years old. On board, he confided that he became ‘general purpose’ – performing any jobs, like those of a steward, utility personnel, room service, barman, busboy or a food & beverage server. For fifteen years, this became the routine of his life.
Arrival to port of success
As years passed by, sailing however became hard and boring for Ronald. Exploring all avenues to make life better, he and his wife one day decided to start a small business. They used a small amount from his hard-earned money at sea. For a short period of time and with good cooperation of his family members, their small business flourished!
When he was 38 years old, Ronald had to put the brakes on his sailing career for he has to manage personally their ever growing family catering business.
Credit: T&J Catering
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Last December 2014, another feather was added on his already well-embellished cap. Ronald Torres was hailed Outstanding OFW Entrepreneur of the Year by Ex-Link Events, Inc. at SMX Convention Center in MOA Complex, Pasay City.
While watching him going-up on stage to accept the prestigious award, I couldn’t help myself not to ask how he did it.
Paano nga ba (How)?
Two weeks later after the awarding ceremony, we had been invited by UNTV to guest on My OFW Story, an OFW-oriented TV Show being hosted by Atty. Wilhelm Soriano.
Before we faced the rolling cameras, I was able to personally bond with him and his lovely wife, Lisa.
As we waited for the show’s director to give green light, he confided me his general business success’ secrets.
- A trustworthy and efficient wife – Behind the success (especially, financial) of a seaman is her beloved and only one woman. Lisa Torres, the charming wife of Ronald is a nutritionist by profession but had been the woman-on-the helm of their business especially when the latter was still toiling overseas. When asked what are the adorable characteristics of her wife he likes most he jovially told me, “Hindi lang maganda at mabait, kuripot din but on the sense na magpapayaman sa amin (Not only beautiful and kind but also frugal – a kind of woman that will make us rich)!
- Make hay out of the sunshine – A dream doesn’t turn into a reality if the dreamer is only fond of daydreaming. The couple had started their catering business from a capital amount of Php50, 000.00 only. If Ronald didn’t think of a working business idea and went out his comfort zone to carve a niche, I think he’s still enduring the high seas and homesickness ‘till now.
- Exceed customers’ expectations – To be on the catering business means to be a total satisfier for Ronald and Lisa.“The clients are not only after for the mouth-watering foods we provide. Though it’s vital, there are still other things to consider like how you decorate the venue and/or how your people serve them with integrity. The challenge is always there. It’s hard but we never say never to cater best” said the power couple.
Despite his triumphs in life, the outstanding entrepreneur knows how to stick his feet on the ground. He concluded that he strives hard to succeed in life and he’s writing a beautiful story, not primarily to impress but to inspire other seafarers/business enthusiasts to make a remarkable difference, too.
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