Tim Hortons tests food delivery in 3 cities; kids menu and loyalty program to come

Tim Hortons is relying on more than just delivery to garner more enthusiasm for its brand

Some Canadians craving a doughnut or double-double but strapped for time can now have Tim Hortons food brought to them as the national chain started testing delivery this week.

It’s one of several concepts the coffee-and-doughnut chain, working to overcome an onslaught of negative publicity, is trying out in an effort to remain relevant to Canadian consumers.

The coffee-and-doughnut chain launched food delivery with Skip The Dishes, a food delivery app, through 148 restaurants in three cities — Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton — Monday.

“I think we came in with a mindset that we have to listen to our guests and adapt to their changing needs,” said Alex Macedo, president of Tim Hortons.

Macedo, who started in the role less than a year ago, said a slew of new hires, including Duncan Fulton, the chief corporate officer of Tim Hortons parent company Restaurant Brands International, is the reason for the brand’s productivity lately.

The company hopes to expand the delivery test beyond those select cities in the coming months, said Fulton, who admits he lives his life on apps like Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats and DoorDash — as do many Tim Hortons customers.

Delivery, he said, is something the eatery obviously needs to be doing.

It’s not the only company to feel that way. Cineplex announced late last month it started offering concession stand snack delivery via Uber Eats to movie-watchers in 60 communities in Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Quebec.

READ MORE: Is Canada losing its love for Tim Hortons?

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

But Tim Hortons is relying on more than just delivery to garner more enthusiasm for its brand. Another change that just made sense is all-day breakfast, Macedo said.

“We’re a breakfast brand and a coffee shop that also sells lunch and dinner,” he said.

About 50 restaurants are now serving breakfast any time and if the test produces good results, Tim Hortons will roll out the extended first meal hours nationally before the end of the summer.

Its all-day breakfast pilot follows the national roll-out of breakfast any time by rivals McDonald’s Canada and A&W last year.

In September, Tim Hortons plans to trial two more changes: a kids menu and a loyalty program.

It’s too early for the company to announce what items will grace the kids options, but customers shouldn’t expect items like chicken fingers or burgers.

“There’s still a lot of other kids menu items out there … that not everybody’s embracing that could be very unique to Tim Hortons,” said Fulton, who said he thinks about what his two kids would like to eat.

The loyalty program will start as a card with basic phone functionality, said Macedo, and will eventually be integrated into the company’s recently launched app that allows customers to order and pay in advance.

All the changes come as the company attempts to strengthen relations with its franchisees. Continued public spats between the chain’s parent company RBI and unsanctioned franchisee group The Great White North Franchisee Association over alleged mismanagement resulted in several lawsuits.

Some Ontario franchisees’ decisions to cut back employee benefits and paid breaks after the province’s higher minimum wage kicked in further marred the company’s image, with some regulars participating in a boycott and nationwide protests.

The brand’s reputation took a big hit on two reputational surveys this year, falling dozens of spots on each one.

Macedo and Fulton both acknowledged some things in the past could have been handled better, but said management has changed how it communicates with franchisees in an effort to bolster that relationship and is working with them to implement all these changes smoothly.

“I think it’s just going to be a matter of time to prove out that this is a new day,” said Fulton, ”and there’s a very sincere interest in working collaboratively with all the franchisees.” \

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lake Country wins award for financial reporting for fourth year

The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting was awarded to the district

Okanagan Shuswap weather: Glimpses of sun expected on another wintry day

The sun will be peeking out from behind the clouds for the next few days

Urban Distillery + Liquor moves to West Kelowna

The proprietor has big dreams for the new space

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

5 Events to check out this weekend local ski hills

Check out this new column from Okanagan events guru Christina Ferreira

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Most Read