Toni Jack's Pirate Booted out of Arion Plaza

The buzz about several Toni Jack's outlets that have been closed is becoming clearer. Toni Jack's in Arion Plaza, East Jakarta, was indeed kicked out. Previously, the Toni Jack's management claimed that it was closed due to a malfunction of its production machine and also because it was too close with its outlet in Kelapa Gading.

Hamzah Fansuri, attorney of Bambang Rachmadi's PT Ramako Gerbangmas (PT RG), stated that the Arion Plaza management deliberately kicked out Toni Jack's from the premise. Consequently, PT RG, that previously ran the business for the 13 ex-McDonald's outlets owned by Bambang, had to receive all the returned properties of the Arion Toni Jack's outlet. Those property initially had been sold to PT Toni Jack's, the fastfood brand with a pirate mascot.

"As of February 9, yesterday, Toni Jack's has returned its assets from its Arion outlet to RG because it can no longer operate there."

Hamzah revealed that the leasing between Arion's management and Bambang Rachmadi, through PT RG in 1994 and was then for a McDonald's outlet, was valid for 20 years and was due in 2014.

However, Bambang's franchise rights has been terminated by McDonald's Corporation in mid 2009. Bambang then diverted all his 13 ex-McD outlets to Didit Permana, who then established them as Toni Jack's. The 13 locations include Arion Plaza.

A source mentioned that the rent for Toni Jack's is twice or even three times more expensive than for McD. "McD always gets a price far below the market because it's considered as a tenant that can attract visitors."

On December 2009, Arion sent a letter to Toni Jack's, stating that Toni Jack's should vacate its outlet and close down by January 2, 2010, and pack up all its equipments before February 2, 2010. "It was the request of the other tenants in our plaza," defended PT Arion Paramitha Holding Company's finance manager, Ridhawijah.

The closing was triggered by the decline of visitors to Toni Jack's compared to the time when it was still a McD outlet. "We have to right to fill (the space) with another tenant with the potential to attract visitors to the plaza. There are many parties interested."

Meanwhile, Hamzah is preparing further measures to respond to the eviction. "We've suffered loss because the outlet's properties, which have been sold, must be reclaimed."