They might serve “Canada’s coffee” but it hasn’t been a great year for Tim Hortons. In an effort to spruce up their image after a steady decrease in reported sales and a few public blunders, the coffee chain announced Tuesday that they are going to be laying down $700 million to give the majority of their Canadian stores a facelift. Because that always works, right?
Over the next four years, Tim Hortons will be renovating both the interior and exterior of restaurants to create a more welcoming vibe and trick customers into thinking the international chain is just “their favourite local coffee shop.” Maybe five years ago, Tim, but a lot of Canadians lost that cozy feeling when you cut employee benefits after the minimum wage hike in Ontario.
The new exterior will incorporate “natural looking, lighter, and more inviting materials.” It looks like that idea manifests in wood paneling, large white bricking and dark metal trim. In the concept imagery, it would seem they are committed to doing brick and wood on the same building which is an interesting design choice.
The interior will feature a lot more wall art celebrating the brand’s history including “a commissioned portrait of Tim Horton, a mosaic of iconic brand images and a photo wall that features Tim Hortons unique coffee-sourcing and proprietary blending process.” The seating will change too and become more “open concept,” featuring bar stools and a community table (you mean like at McDonald’s?).
If it feels like Tim Hortons just finished their last round of renovations — when they warmed up the interior and swapped in the eat-and-go seating for booths and arm chairs – that’s because they did. November 2011 was when Tims announced their last revamp and the memory of ordering that morning coffee from makeshift trailers set up in front of locations under renovation is not too distant for Canadians. Like it or not, Canada, it looks like we’ll be doing that again soon.
In general, people aren’t too happy about the announcement. It looks like that $700 million check isn’t actually going to cover the full cost of the (super unnecessary?) renovations and franchise owners are going to have to put up around $450,000 for the new digs. That’s a bad look on a company that only a few months ago was fielding protests outside their stores for their treatment of minimum wage employees.
Canadians had a few ideas about other things Tims could use all that money for.
Franchisees all go through reno costs. That said if @TimHortons wants to improve the brand, save the 450K per store on decor and improve the coffee
— James Gronau 🏒 (@JamesGronau) March 28, 2018
So, @TimHortons has a $700 million reno budget, each franchise is paying $468,000. Listen up Timmies, we can accept ur restaurants a few years more w/ the present decorations. How about you spend that $$ on ur employees & bring them all up to $15 min wage now. #TimHortons
— Trae (@traebordileau) March 28, 2018
Here's a thought. How about NOT renovate and instead pay your employees fair wages, breaks, and benefits. BULL that the business can't afford raise in minimum wage of they can afford new tables and flooring!!https://t.co/lkt8TCMg3H
— Dianne Oickle (@D_Oickle) March 28, 2018
— Brigitte Laskowski (@singerskates) March 28, 2018
So how excited are you about these new Tims renos?