Ambitious plans afoot to halt Tim Hortons sliding sales

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Restaurant Brands International Inc. the owner of Tim Hortons announced a plan to improve the customer experience and sales at its Tim Hortons operations, which were the weak spots during an otherwise strong first quarter for the company.

Comparable sales at Tim Hortons locations that have been open for more than a year fell by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter. It’s the sixth quarter in a row that the number has been flat or declining.

The brand suffered from intense competition, problems with its annual ‘Roll Up the Rim’ promotion and negative media coverage generated by a group of dissident franchise owners.

The new plan is called “Winning Together” which focusses on improving the restaurant experience, product excellence and brand communications.

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The initiative also includes more customer use of a Tim Hortons app, a new marketing campaign extolling the virtue of connecting with neighbours over a coffee and a $700 million initiative to renovate restaurants.

Meanwhile many franchise owners are signing up to refurbish the interior and exterior of their restaurants with the “welcome image” that’s part of RBI’s plan for improving relationships with customers. The newly renovated Tim Hortons is more welcoming and bright.

RBI’s previously announced $700-million renovation plan to spruce up its restaurants is one of the factors in its feud with GWNFA. The franchisees say that the company has effectively changed the rent and royalty structure by saddling franchisees with increasing costs and requiring them to renovate stores at their own expense.

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The dissident franchisee group was quick to point out it believed the plan was ill-conceived and would cost individual restaurant owners about $450,000.

While competition to Tim Hortons abounds, there will always be loyal Tim Hortons customers who are drawn both by the familiarity and its price point which is lower than many of the newer competition out there. – CINEWS

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