Is Canada losing its love for Tim Hortons?

One-third of Canadians say they think less of the franchise, poll says

A brewing conflict between Tim Hortons franchisees and its foreign-owned parent company is curdling public opinion of Canada’s iconic coffee and donut chain, according to a new nationwide poll.

The Angus Reid Institute survey, released Tuesday, suggests one in three Tim Hortons customers feels worse about the company, especially when considering changes over the past five years.

The poll suggests the quality of food, coffee and service, as well as the prices, has declined rather than improved.

However, people haven’t necessarily switched to another chain, the survey said, with 33 per cent of people remaining weekly customers and 29 per cent saying they still stop by at least once a month.

The poll came out days after the federal government announced it would investigate allegations that Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International failed to live up to promises made under the Investment Canada Act in 2014.

That’s not the only reason the restaurant chain has been in the news.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

READ MORE: ‘Hold the sugar, hold the cream, Tim Hortons don’t be mean,’ protesters chant

Tim Hortons faced intense criticism after two Cobourg, Ont., franchises moved to offset Ontario’s minimum wage hike by cutting paid breaks and forcing workers to cover a bigger share of their benefits.

It sparked a national day of action and rallies outside some of the 4,000 restaurants across the country.

Tensions flared again in February when Great White North Franchisee Association, a group representing at least half of Tim Hortons franchisees, threatened legal action against the company because cash register kept going down.

The association has also accused the company of intimidation after it allegedly denied a franchisee a licence renewal for one of his two Tim’s locations, after they alleged improper use of a $700-million national advertising fund.

Still part of Canadian culture

For all that, Tim Hortons remains as Canadian as hockey or maple syrup – an opinion shared amongst the millennial crowd in particular, the poll suggests.

Forty-four per cent of Canadians between 18 and 24 years old are more likely to view Tim Hortons as an important part of the national culture.

Older age groups are more likely to say Tim Hortons has nothing to do with being Canadian, and about 28 per cent say they’re less inclined to see the company as anything more than a business.

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The new mayor of Trail is …

Preliminary results after voting closed Saturday at 8 p.m., includes results from two advanced polls

Fruitvale votes in a new mayor

Preliminary results after voting closed Saturday at 8 p.m.

Mayor of Warfield re-elected

Preliminary results after voting closed Saturday at 8 p.m., includes results from two advanced polls

A new mayor for Montrose

Preliminary results after voting closed Saturday at 8 p.m., includes results from two advanced polls

Austin Engineering takes expertise from Trail to Quebec

“It’s really a privilege to be … presenting at this level,” says Mary Austin, director of development.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Most Read