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Tim Hortons

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tim Hortons Inc.
Company typePublic (TSXTHI, NYSETHI)
FoundedHamilton, Ontario (1964)
HeadquartersOakville, Ontario
Key people
Paul D. House, (Executive Chairman) , Don Schroeder, CEO, and President, and Director (as of March 1st 2008)
Tim Horton and Ron Joyce, co-founders
Iced cappuccinos
Ice cream
Revenue12px $1.896 billion CAD (2007)[2]
12px $270 million CAD (2007)[2]
Number of employees
100,000 (2008)

Tim Hortons Inc. is a Canadian fast food restaurant known for its coffee and doughnuts. It was started in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton.[3] In 1967 Tim Horton joined with investor Ron Joyce, who quickly took over running the company and expanded the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise.

Tim Hortons stores quickly spread and together with Subway, became bigger than McDonald's and is now Canada's largest chain of fast food restaurants. The company opened twice as many Canadian stores as did McDonald's[4] and sales also are bigger than those of McDonald's Canadian restaurants as of 2002.[5] The chain got 22.6% of all fast food industry revenues in Canada in 2005.[4] Tim Hortons also has 76% of the Canadian market for baked goods (based on the number of customers) and has 62% of the Canadian coffee market (compared to Starbucks, who is the second largest with 7%).[6] Tim Hortons had 2,733 restaurants in Canada as of July 1, 2007.

Tim Hortons also has international restaurants with 500 in the United States as of December 2008, with one opened in Detroit and owned by former NBA player Derrick Coleman and one on a Canadian military base outside Kandahar, Afghanistan.[7][8][9] Tim Hortons' other international efforts include a small outlet at the Dublin Zoo. Tim Hortons also made a deal with the SPAR store chain in the UK and Ireland, with Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts being sold at small self service counters in 16 SPAR stores.

Tim Horton and Ron Joyce

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A Tim Hortons in Calgary, Alberta
A typical queue at Tim Hortons

The company's first store opened in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario under the name "Tim Horton Donuts" (the word donut would later be dropped and the company name ended up as just "Tim Horton's", and later was changed to "Tim Hortons" without the apostrophe). The business was started by Tim Horton, who played in the National Hockey League from 1949 until his death in a car accident in 1974.[10]

Soon after Horton opened the store, he met Ron Joyce, a former Hamilton police constable. In 1965, Joyce took over the Tim Horton Donut Shop on Ottawa Street North in Hamilton. By 1967, after he had opened up two more stores, he and Tim Horton became full partners in the business. After Horton's death in 1974, Joyce bought the company from the Horton family and took over as the only owner of the now forty stores. Joyce expanded the chain quickly in geography and in product selection, opening the 500th store in Aylmer, Quebec, in 1991.[11]

Ron Joyce's very fast expansion of the Tim Hortons business brought about two major changes in the coffee and doughnut restaurant market: independent doughnut shops in Canada were almost wiped out, and Canada's per person ratio of doughnut shops rose past those of all other countries.[12]

By the 1990s, the company name had changed to The TDL Group Ltd but the name of the restaurants are still called Tim Hortons. This was because the company wanted to also go into other types of business, and not just be seen as a doughnut company. In March 2006, shares of the company were first sold to the public.[11]

Expansion and takeover

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TDL Group had $1.48 billion in sales in 2005[13] and has expanded across Canada and also in New York, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Maine.

In August 2014, the Brazilian investment company 3G Capital announced it was going to buy out the TDL Group and merge operations of Tim Hortons with that of Burger King.[14] This was done to make it easier to make Tim Hortons a world-wide chain, just like how Burger King is. The purchase was completed in December of that year, and since then, both Tim Hortons and Burger King are part of Restaurant Brands International, which is owned mostly by 3G Capital, but also by the previous shareholders of the two chains under the ticker NYSEQSX.[15] But in 2018, it was reported that Tim Hortons franchisees were complaining to the Government of Canada that Restaurant Brands International did not follow the rules that were made in order for the takeover to happen.[16]

Tim Hortons and the Canadian military

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Tim Hortons has many stores on or near many Canadian Forces Bases. TDL Group said in March 2006, that because they were asked by Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, it would open a store at the Canadian Forces operations base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The new Kandahar store opened on June 29 2006, in a 40 ft trailer on the military base.[17]

Growth of the Tim Hortons Chain

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(Source: Tim Hortons Official History[19])

A box of TimBits
A chocolate dip Tim Hortons donut

Tim Hortons' first stores only sold two products - coffee and doughnuts.[3] As well as its coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and doughnuts, the Tim Hortons menu now includes a number of other baked goods, such as Timbits (small balls of doughnut dough), muffins, croissants, tea biscuits, cookies, rolls, danishes, and bagels (Tim Hortons now sells one out of every two bagels in the whole Canadian food industry).[20] Cakes to take home are offered in some locations.

Since the mid-1990s, the chain has moved into other areas, such as flavoured cappuccino, iced cappuccino, iced coffee, New York-style cheesecake, and lunch items such as soup, chili, and submarine sandwiches. In fall 2006, Tim Hortons began selling a breakfast sandwich. This is made of an egg patty, processed cheese slice, either bacon or sausage, and either a biscuit or bagel, it has sold well.[21] In October 2007 Tim Hortons began to sell a Chicken Fajita Wrap, which has spiced chicken and sautéed vegetables. In December 2007, they began to sell hash browns and the Bagel B.E.L.T., a breakfast sandwich that has lettuce and tomato.

Along with the expansion of stores and the expanded menu came the outsourcing of baked goods. Doughnuts, which used to be made at night so that they were ready for the next morning, are now fully cooked and then frozen and sent to every restaurant from Windsor, Ontario. The restaurants now bake them during the day.[22]

The company used to sell Coca-Cola products but Tim Hortons switched over to Pepsi in 2007.


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Throw away cups made by the company are one of the most common litter items in Canada. Company spokespersons claim that customers are the problem, not Tim Hortons.[23]

In May 2008, the chain came under fire after an employee in London, Ontario was fired for giving away a single $0.16 Timbit to a baby. A manager was blamed for the incident. The employee was hired at a different nearby location.[24]


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  1. Tim Hortons Fact Sheet
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Company Profile for Tim Hortons Inc (CA;THI)". Retrieved 2008-10-03.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Tim Hortons Official History". Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Wendy's confirms Tim Hortons IPO by March", Ottawa Business Journal, December 1, 2005, [1] Archived 2006-06-29 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Marketer of the Year: Down-Home Smarts", Marketing Magazine, February 7, 2005, [2] Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Tim Hortons Raises C$783 Million in Initial Offering", Bloomberg News, March 23, 2006 [3]
  7. "Wal-Mart Canada supercenters to have Tim Hortons - Investing Insight - Sympatico / MSN Finance". Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  8. "Tim Hortons brings a taste of home to troops in Kandahar". Tim Hortons. 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  9. O'Connor, Elaine (2006-04-12). "Tim Hortons hiring for Afghanistan". The Province. Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  10. "Tim Horton (1930 - 1974)". Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "The Story of Tim Hortons". Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  12. "The unofficial national sugary snack", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, September 1, 1994 [4]
  13. ""Tim Hortons stock jumps in trading debut", CTV News, March 24, 2006". Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  14. Canadian Press (26 August 2014). "Burger King confirms deal to buy Tim Hortons with help from Warren Buffett". Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  15. Restaurant Brands International, Inc (12 December 2014). "Restaurant Brands International Announces Successful Completion of Tim Hortons and Burger King Transaction". Business Wire. Retrieved 13 April 2018. {{cite news}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  16. Burns, Adam (12 April 2018). "Feds investigating Tim Hortons owner over claims they're failing to honour commitments". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  17. "Tim Hortons comes to Kandahar", CBC.ca, June 29, 2006
  18. Tim Hortons History, 2006
  19. Tim Hortons official History - Growth of Tim Hortons
  20. Tim Hortons - Tim Hortons, and IAWS form joint venture to build bakery facility in Ontario
  21. Tim's heats up menu wars Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine, Dana Flavelle, Toronto Star, September 27, 2006, article accessed September 29, 2006
  22. Maidstone Bakeries joint venture
  23. Danylo Hawaleshka. What to do about all those Tim Hortons containers littering the countryside? Oct. 21, 2005. Maclean's Magazine. [5] Archived 2009-01-10 at the Wayback Machine
  24. Employee fired over free Timbit getting job back Archived 2008-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, May 8, 2008 CTV News

Other websites

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