If I hadn’t been born Ken Symes, I might like to have been Tim Horton! Sure growing up having fun playing hockey would have been great as would becoming a superstar Canadian hockey player, but imagine starting a coffee shop which becomes iconic to a nation! Now that is super cool!
So what trouble is Tim Hortons in? In spite of their claim “Always Fresh,” Tim Hortons donuts are, in fact, prepared in advance, frozen shipped out to all the branches where they cook them the last 5% in a special convection oven before dressing them up. Here’s the trouble. Some store owners are frustrated that the price of these pre-made donuts keeps going up. They are certain that their profits were much higher when the donuts really were “always fresh,” back when each store baked their own. They’re also certain that the donuts used to be bigger. A group of these store owners are suing the corporation and an Ontario court has ruled to allow this lawsuit to go forward in November.
The trouble for Tim’s will be the disclosures of profit margins which may happen during the court proceedings this month. And it’s double trouble because many Canadians don’t even realize that the donuts are not really made fresh in each store. Watch the news this month for more details—I know I’ll be watching. The hockey thing never really worked out for Ken Symes nor did the coffee franchise thing so these days I work as a news media analyst who enjoys a good coffee and donut from Timmy’s :)
P.S. For more details on the lawsuit, here’s a great clip from CBC News.