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

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Tlell Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday until Thanksgiving

The Observer mistook the final day for the farmers market – don’t miss the harvest!

Masset dodges empty-ballot bullet

After an extended deadline, Masset now has enough candidates for council

Sunny skies for Terry Fox Run

Queen Charlotte and Masset runs raise nearly $3,000 for cancer research

Canning sockeye by hand in North Coast B.C.

Arnie Nagy teaches the Northern View how to can salmon in Prince Rupert

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

Most Read