Tim Hortons sets 5-year plan: Will launch healthier menu items, rapid expansion across all markets

Coming off announcing their 2013 year end results last week and declaring plans to shutter Cold Stone Creamery in Canada, plus axing 24 items from its menu, Tim Hortons execs have put their plan on the table that will help them dominate the market over the next 5-years.

The theme until the end of 2018 is “Winning in the New Era” and Marc Caira, president and CEO of Timmies, said “Consumers are highly inter-connected and have increasingly evolving needs. Our strategic roadmap is ambitious but achievable, and is designed to capitalize on our strengths while allowing us to rapidly adapt to deliver on those changing consumer needs. We are energizing the Tim Hortons brand in all of our geographic markets and we are focusing on driving long-term, sustainable, profitable growth which we believe will return us to above-market total return to shareholders.”

So what are they proposing? Here’s a summary for you:

Tim Hortons will “defending our core business” in Canada and by a “Lead, Defend and Grow” strategy. The goal is to improve “the ultimate guest experience more consistently with a focus on flawless restaurant-level execution.” In regards to the heavily competitive United States market, Caira noted that they have a “Must-Win Battle” mindset and they “are committed to the U.S.”

Technology will be a major player for Tim Hortons. While the company recently announced mobile payment options, plus a loyalty card, Timmies execs want to become “one of the industry’s most consumer-centric companies, enabling us to aggregate guest insights and connect and transact with them in new and innovative ways.” It seems that they will know everything about your order, what you buy, when you buy and your habits.


Timmies is expecting to launch new menu items and flavours that include balanced menu options in health, wellness and nutrition. New and differentiated beverages, snacks, meal items, offering compelling combos will help grow the average cheque per customer in both the United States and Canada.

By the end of 2018 Tim Hortons plans to expand its Canadian footprint by 500 locations, United States locations by 300, and International by 220. Some of these will feature “new restaurant formats and sizes that target under-represented captive audience settings such as office, sporting venue and health care settings.”

The press released revealed that Tim Hortons has signed its first development agreements to expand the franchise development in the United States to the following locations (mix of standard and non-standard) over the next 5-years: St. Louis, Missouri (40); Youngstown, Ohio, (25); Fort Wayne, Indiana (15) and Fargo and Minot, North Dakota (15).

“We are setting out to be bold, different and daring. We envision a Tim Hortons that is one of the industry’s most consumer-centric brands, leveraging technology to build our understanding of emerging consumer insights and to connect with them in new and innovative ways. We are focusing on flawless execution and creating the ultimate guest experience. We are asserting our coffee and food leadership, simplifying our operations and pursuing differentiated innovation. Our team is aligned, focused and committed to strong execution and market leadership,” added Caira.

About Ian Hardy

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I'm obsessed with Tim Hortons.It runs through my veins and I've probably spent enough money downing Steeped Tea's that I could have purchased my own franchise.