Tim Hortons has announced more sudden location closures, following their recent slip from Canada's 2018 list of most valuable brands. The once-beloved coffee chain is struggling to keep the loyalty of its Canadian customers. To make matters worse, their expansion into the U.S. seems to be failing miserably.
Tim Horton's parent company Restaurant Brands International - which also owns Popeye's and Burger King - is shutting down four of its U.S. Timmies locations in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the Financial Post, RBI refused to provide a reason for the closures.
RBI is facing several lawsuits from Tim Hortons franchise owners in Canada and the U.S., who claim that RBI has been overcharging them on basic necessities and supplies. Canadian franchisees in particular have filed an $850 million lawsuit against the company, accusing them of "bullying," "intimidation," and "unfair treatment."
The franchisees have banded together and even created their own anti-RBI group called "The Great White North Franchisee Association."
On the consumer side, Canadians have been voicing their dissatisfaction with Timmies and its plummeting quality:
I feel like Tim Hortons coffee quality has gone down lately. I find myself getting McDonald’s or Starbucks over Tim’s now.
@TimHortons this is what your quality looks like at the Port Coquitlam location in BC..... same product; do those look anything a like? I didn’t even mix it yet, just put my straw in . Barely any whip cream and no caramel drizzle. pic.twitter.com/EiXMQG7QMo
#TimHortons was my comfort go-to for many years and I have had much fondness for it. All the bad business, morally shady and cost cutting decisions that impact quality hurts, man. https://t.co/rZrjY7OdNp
RBI has shut down several other Tim Hortons locations in the U.S. over the years. The Post reports that they recently closed a Timmies in Indiana only four months after it was opened.
Regarding the closures, RBI's spokesperson had this to say - "Every market we enter poses unique opportunities and challenges, the U.S. market is no different. We have learned a great deal about what works well and areas where we can improve by working closely with our area development partners."
Sorry, Timmies - we may be the nicest country in the world, but once you've broken our trust, it'll take quite a bit of work to earn it back.
Source: Financial Post