Caferama manager Faykil Ben will be left jobless come January when coffee giant, Café Supreme, moves into room 103 in the Shatner building.
Ben will lose the $400,000 he invested into the restaurant and its space when Café Supreme takes over for renovations in December.
“I put all my money into this place. I’ll be on the street with my two kids and wife,” he said.
Fed up with serving sandwiches and salads under Caferama’s flag, Ben approached Café Supreme – along with Presse Café and Amir – in the hopes of better matching Shatner 103 food services to students’ tastes.
Ben, who informed Café Supreme president John Essaris about SSMU’s call for tenders for the space last March, claimed that his participation in
discussions leading to Café Supreme’s bid should have been enough to secure him the position as franchisee for the new tenant.
But Café Supreme, now in the final stages of negotiation with SSMU, is neither considering Ben as a potential franchisee, nor offering him any compensation for the takeover.
“We had no obligation to consider to consider Ben as the franchisee,” said Essaris. “We got tender status independently.”
Ben accused Essaris of taking advantage of his advice during the application process.
“[Essaris] is making me lose everything,” Ben said.
“[He] won’t even answer my phone calls anymore. We used to talk everyday, but now he just wants to get rid of me,” Ben added.
Ben claimed he suggested that Essaris introduce hot meals on the Café Supreme menu, one of the innovations that the company proposed on its tender application to McGill.
Although Ben has rented the space from SSMU for four years as the Caferama franchisee, he said that he felt uncomfortable approaching SSMU councillors about his situation.
“I am a grown man and I don’t want to talk to students. I’d rather suffer my problems on my own.”