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

Fundraiser set for 15-year-old Keremeos girl injured in collision

A fundraiser is being held at the Branding Iron on December 1 for Keirsten Haynes

Rural recreation tax, priority for Penticton

Three of Penticton’s reps on regional district say finding way to tax rural areas for rec a priority

B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

A planned holiday has turned into a humanitarian effort for a Penticton couple

Keremeos library breaks the code on fun

The code mobile was recently at the Keremeos Library

Keremeos Royal Purple hopeful for donations

The Royale Purple in Keremeos is collecting donations for Handbags for Hope till the end of the Nov.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

New maintenance crew to look after Okanagan Connector

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. will replace Argo Road Maintenance Inc. in 2019

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read