News  Shatner businesses in the dark over failed contract negotiations

Deadline for new tenants to submit business proposals extended

Since attempts at negotiations ended between SSMU and the MTY Group, the contractor who operates the Shatner cafeteria, the current subcontractors of the space, have not been informed of the status of their contract.

SSMU VP Finance and Operations Shyam Patel confirmed that SSMU provided prior notice to MTY that they would be publicizing the termination of their business relationship at the first Council meeting of this academic year. After repeated attempts to reach the president of the company, however, MTY has not responded to SSMU.

“If we ever were to receive a response, it was, ‘Give us more time’, so I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on on their side,” said Patel regarding attempts to negotiate with MTY.

Cultures, Franx Supreme, and Tiki-Ming are subcontractors of MTY, and therefore any information regarding their contracts in SSMU must flow through MTY itself, who ultimately holds the lease on the cafeteria space.

“In our contract it’s MTY that should be telling them, but I also feel like telling them ourselves is appropriate because they deserve to know,” said Patel.

When asked whether she had been in contact with MTY, Jing Yao, the owner of Cultures, said she hadn’t “heard anything for a while.” She explained that the cafeteria subtenants are currently on a one-year lease extension. She expects to be meeting with the SSMU General Manager in the near future to discuss plans for the upcoming contract term.

“I don’t know what the plans are for next year. I think we need to sit down and talk about some changes [to the contract],” said Yao.

Rena and Lihui Wan, owners of Tiki-Ming, have heard that the contract with MTY will not be renewed next year.

Patel said he was approached by the Wans, who expressed interest in continuing to occupy the space. Patel stated that SSMU would be accepting business proposals from the current subtenants to occupy the space as individuals unaffiliated with MTY.

“We understand these are the lives of individuals, and giving them the chance to make proposals is great,” said Patel.

A presentation on the tenant selection process and the current proposals was originally scheduled for the next Council session on September 29, but it has been rescheduled for the first meeting in October in order to give current subtenants adequate time to prepare any proposals they plan to submit.

Multiple businesses, including Burritoville and Lola Rosa, have already expressed interest in working with SSMU and have outlined their plans for student-friendly food services. The deadline to submit proposals is October 3.