Tim Hortons’ extra-large trouble trouble

The bitter battle inside the country’s favourite coffee shop

Steve White CP /Christopher Stevenson/ Aaron Harris CP

On a recent Thursday morning, as thousands of Canadian coffee lovers waited in line for their daily fix of Tim Hortons, the company’s head office unveiled its latest quarterly earnings report. The figures confirmed—yet again—that when your brand is the closest thing to a national religion, filling the collection plate is never a problem.

Total revenue: $639.9 million. Total profit: $94.1 million.

That same morning, Aug. 12, Hortons executives made another lucrative announcement: the company had just sold its 50 per cent stake in Maidstone, the Brantford, Ont., bakery that mass-produces donuts and muffins for every “Tim’s” in the country. Originally launched as a joint venture in 2001, Maidstone now belongs to the Swiss food giant Aryzta AG, which paid a whopping $475 million for Hortons’ half of the operation (and has agreed to continue supplying the chain with fritters and biscuits until at least 2016).

For Tim’s shareholders, the deal is sweeter than a honey dip, as the company promised to pour every penny back into their pockets. For the rest of Hortons’ “shareholders”—those countless loyal customers whose ownership is strictly sentimental—the bottom line is this: your chocolate Timbit, a scrumptious ball of Canadiana, is now produced by a company from Switzerland. And it is still “Always Fresh” (i.e., frozen and reheated).

Tim’s regulars may have a hard time swallowing the news that their maple dip is no longer produced under the Maple Leaf. As national symbols go, a Hortons donut is second only to a Hortons coffee. But Timmy’s selling baked goods from a freezer? That’s standard operating procedure, and has been for quite some time.

Yes, it was certainly a scandal back in 2003, when Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce confirmed the truth: that the company he built (and had recently left) replaced its in-store deep fryers with frozen globs of dough trucked in from a factory. “This is not a philosophy that I would have embraced if I still owned the company,” he famously boasted. One Hortons spokeswoman, convinced that she could stop the unflattering headlines, famously told a reporter that “until I confirm or deny anything, it simply doesn’t exist.”

It did exist, of course. And the backlash was swift. (Joyce’s words were especially damaging. “I’ve tried them,” he said of the new donuts. “And they’re certainly not the same.”) In time, though, most people eventually forgot—or simply stopped caring—where their honey crullers came from. Truth be told, many customers still have no idea that the donuts on display have to be defrosted.

But that is about to change. In the coming weeks, Tim’s devoted disciples will receive a very fresh reminder about just how much their donuts have evolved. Hortons’ historic decision to go frozen is now at the heart of a proposed $1.95-billion class action lawsuit that has exposed a bitter—and very personal—battle inside the country’s favourite coffee shop. Scheduled for a hearing in November, the high-stakes case pits store owners against senior executives, store owners versus each other, and even relative against relative. And no matter how many spokespeople try to control the message, the spat is sure to have some patrons pining for the old days, when the smell of deep-fried Dutchies hung in the air at their local shop.

Officially, the case is about a few disgruntled franchisees who claim their profits are shrinking because the company, via Maidstone, is charging “inflated” prices for those frozen goodies. But flip through the court file—through thousands of pages of exhibits and affidavits—and a much deeper storyline emerges: an old-fashioned power struggle between those who are still loyal to Ron Joyce, and those who replaced him at the top.

The lead plaintiff is a Burlington, Ont., store owner named Archibald Jollymore, Joyce’s former executive vice-president (and his cousin). One of Jollymore’s primary targets is Paul D. House, Joyce’s successor as president (and a man who garnered zero praise in Joyce’s recent autobiography). Both men have different philosophies, to say the least. House and his colleagues claim Jollymore is a poor businessman, and if his Hortons outlet is truly losing money, it has nothing to do with frozen products. Jollymore claims he has been “intimidated and bullied” by head office, and that the executive chairman personally threatened his life. “If I had a gun,” House allegedly said, “I’d shoot the bastard.”

Stuck in the middle of this donut war are hundreds of other Tim’s operators who are anxious to see the whole thing tossed out of court. Many have submitted sworn affidavits of their own, insisting that the Always Fresh system was “a welcome transition” and a “necessary evolution.” A core group of “concerned franchisees” even launched a password-protected website that urges others to oppose the claim. Their biggest concern? That their bottom lines will be disclosed in court for everyone to see. “How comfortable are you sharing your profitability with the media?” the website asks. “Do we want the press reporting about the Tim Hortons’ brand in a negative way?”

Among those furious over the lawsuit is Graham Oliver, who owns five Hortons stores in the Kitchener, Ont., area (and also happens to be Joyce’s nephew). In an affidavit obtained by Maclean’s, Oliver says if the public ever discovered how much store owners earn—“coupled with complaints that profit margins are not great enough”—it would “create an image that franchisees are wealthy, greedy people.”

As for that other image—frozen fritters in the back of a transport truck—it gets plenty of mention in the court file. One owner who supports the suit (and, like Jollymore, was a senior executive under Joyce) goes so far as to claim that some of the new donuts are “14.3 per cent” smaller than the originals. “I only have this information,” Cyril Garland wrote, “because having noticed what seemed to me to be smaller donuts, I instructed my bakers to periodically weigh each donut in randomly selected boxes as they unpacked them.”

Tim Horton opened his first coffee shop in 1964, and half a century later the company’s place in the Canadian landscape is the stuff of business school textbooks.

An all-star defenceman with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Horton was the public face of the original concept, a hockey icon whose name alone could reel in customers. But his behind-the-scenes partner, Ronald V. Joyce, was the man with the master plan.

During those early years—while Horton was patrolling the blue line, and Joyce was working night shifts frying batter—the company grew from that single store in Hamilton to three dozen restaurants. Later, when Horton was killed in a tragic car crash, Joyce bought out his partner’s widow and kept on expanding. Today, there are more than 3,000 Tim Hortons outlets from coast to coast, and nearly 600 south of the border. And every morning, millions of Canadians reaffirm the famous slogan: “You’ve always got time . . . ”

Like every fast-food chain, Tim’s business model is built around franchisees. Every store owner pays the company a hefty start-up fee—close to half a million dollars—plus a percentage of yearly sales to cover rent, royalties and advertising. Owners are also obligated to buy their supplies from the company, but after that, the profits are theirs. As Joyce wrote in Always Fresh, his 2006 autobiography: “If there was ever a sure thing, owning a Tim Hortons franchise was it.”

Things worked out quite well for Joyce, too (from a financial standpoint, at least). In 1995, he famously sold his beloved company to Wendy’s, the U.S. burger chain, in a transaction worth $600 million. But despite being appointed senior chairman of Hortons and given a seat on Wendy’s board of directors, he soon came to regret the deal. Convinced that Wendy’s was “poorly managed,” Joyce clashed with fellow board members so often that he eventually stopped attending the meetings. Finally, in 2001, Hortons’ co-founder walked away for good, selling every last one of his shares for US$250 million.

By then, Joyce’s successors—men he had personally hired and mentored—were in the process of implementing a drastic change.

For decades, every Hortons donut was made from scratch in the back of each store, the product of professional bakers toiling alongside bags of flour and vats of grease. Each ring of dough was individually rolled, deep-fried and, depending on the type, dipped in chocolate sauce or stuffed with strawberry filling. Stocking the racks in the front of the store meant an eight-hour shift in the back, and at most restaurants, there were two bake cycles: one overnight, one during the day.

It was all part of the early Hortons appeal: the taste of fresh coffee and the aroma of fresh donuts.

For franchisees, though, it wasn’t always so romantic. A decent baker was hard to find and expensive to employ, and on those nights when they called in sick, owners had no choice but to crawl out of bed and take their place in the kitchen.

Consistency was also a problem (a walnut crunch at one shop could be double the size of a walnut crunch at another), while waste was an even bigger worry. If the apple fritters didn’t sell, they’d end up in the trash—along with all the money spent to make them. (The opposite was true, too. If a store ran out of vanilla dips, there was no quick way to stock up, resulting in lost sales.)

By the late 1990s, after endless complaints from store owners (and after Joyce sold out), Hortons executives began searching for a more efficient alternative to scratch baking. Their research took them to Europe, where some manufacturers had perfected the so-called “par-bake” method, in which goods are 95 per cent prepared, flash-frozen, and then later reheated in an oven. In July 2000, Hortons presented the idea—and some samples—to franchisees at an annual convention, and a month later they received the go-ahead from the Wendy’s board to negotiate the joint venture that would lead to the Maidstone factory in Brantford.

When the plan was publicly announced in March 2001, there was little talk about frozen donuts. Instead, Paul House, the new man in charge, mused about drive-through customers buying par-baked baguettes and loaves of bread. “We think it’s got a huge upside,” he said at the time.

Every store owner knew the real “upside”: their grease fryers and bake tables would soon be replaced with walk-in freezers and, to quote Arch Jollymore, a “special microwave-convection oven.”

A few times a year, Hortons executives meet behind closed doors with the “Advisory Board,” a group of franchisees elected from across the country. They discuss all sorts of issues, from leaky cups to the cost of cream. In June 2001, the main topic of conversation was the new “par-bake” initiative, and head office assured everyone that work was being done “to identify and develop solutions to all of the issues involved,” including design, distribution and “people/media plans.”

But for some franchisees, limiting bad publicity was the least of their concerns. They were far more worried that the frozen donuts would take a bite out of their profits—for reasons unrelated to consumer backlash.

One of those distressed owners was Cyril Garland, the company’s former vice-president of finance. After retiring in 1998, he purchased two outlets in Brampton, Ont., and, for a while, maintained “excellent relationships” with his former management colleagues, including House and Donald Schroeder, the current president and CEO. (All three men had memberships at the exclusive Griffith Island Hunt Club in Wiarton, Ont.)

In 2003, during one of their many hunting trips, Garland voiced his irritation to House, telling his former boss that the par-bake system had cost his stores tens of thousands of dollars in lost profits. Why? Because buying frozen donuts from Hortons, via Maidstone, was far more expensive than what it cost to bake them in-store. As Garland would later write in a sworn affidavit: “Although, in the end, I believe that the quality of our baked goods is degraded under the Always Fresh system compared to what it was under full baking, I have opposed the Always Fresh conversion only (and consistently) on the basis of the associated increased food costs.”

Depending on which court document is accurate, a franchisee used to spend somewhere between six and nine cents to produce a single, unfinished donut (i.e., before icing, glazing, etc.). With Always Fresh, that cost has climbed to between 17 and 20 cents. (According to Hortons, the precise price is 17.9 cents.) That may not seem like a big jump, but add up all those maple dips and toasted coconuts, and Garland says it’s enough to erode his profit margins by up to 3.5 per cent. In 2004, he claims, the bottom line at one of his stores was down more than $57,000.

Garland wasn’t alone. Jollymore—who also purchased two Hortons restaurants after retiring in 1994—noticed a similar drop in profits. So did his wife, Anne, who at the time controlled two stores of her own. In one affidavit, Jollymore says his business was losing so much cash that he was left with no choice but “to eliminate or reduce free product donations to charities, school fundraisers and community events.”

An engineer by trade, Jollymore joined his cousin’s company in 1977 and rose through the ranks to executive vice-president, second only to Joyce himself. As Joyce recalls in his book, Jollymore was one of his trusted advisers, and was with him in a Florida hotel suite in 1990 when then-NHL president John Ziegler broke the bad news that Hamilton would not be awarded a franchise. On the “Acknowledgements” page, Jollymore is one of the first people Joyce thanks.

Like Garland, Jollymore was soon butting heads with the executives who took his cousin’s place. At the heart of his beef is an allegation that Paul House assured franchisees that the cost of the frozen donuts would not exceed 12 cents apiece, and that any price increase would soon be offset by less waste, increased sales, and most of all, reduced labour costs. With the new ovens, after all, any employee—and not just a well-paid baker—can produce a batch of Timbits in a matter of minutes.

According to Jollymore, though, he and a number of other franchisees were “surprised and angry” to learn that the true cost of an Always Fresh donut was much higher. He complained to management. He complained to his local member of the Advisory Board, Miles Mattatall (a Hamilton franchisee whose family owns 14 stores). And he “advised Don Schroeder that many store owners were concerned and angry about being lied to.”

Nothing changed, according to Jollymore. He says that when Wendy’s took the company public in 2006, the Hortons brass focused even more attention on boosting shareholder value—“by marginalizing the franchisee.” As Jollymore later wrote: “The role of leadership is to develop strategies to increase top line growth in profits while ensuring the margins of franchisees are maintained. It takes thoughtful leadership to do both.”

In 2008, the Jollymores hired a lawyer.

Their lawsuit, which has yet to be certified as a class action or tested in court, attempts to recoup nearly $2 billion on behalf of every franchisee in the chain. Their statement of claim focuses on the infamous switch to frozen products, but it also demands damages for “the imposition of the lunch menu,” which—though extremely popular—has allegedly earned store owners “a minimal profit, and in some cases no profit at all.” (Simply put, Jollymore claims that Hortons “forces” franchisees to buy chili, soup and sandwich buns from head office, and then sell them back to customers at prices that are essentially break-even.)

After filing the suit, Jollymore wrote an open letter to his fellow store owners. “One of the unique aspects of the original Tim Hortons culture was the deep trust we placed in management to look after our best interests to enable us to prosper,” it reads. “What management priorities have been evident since the Always Fresh conversion?”
Anyone who has ever waited in line for a Hortons double-double has thought the same thing: “This place is a licence to print cash.” Indeed, with a 43 per cent share of the “quick-service restaurant” market in Canada—and annual revenue of more than $2 billion—Tim’s is an unlikely scene for a petty squabble over profits. But if the Jollymores’ lawsuit has revealed anything, it’s that some store owners, even those who oppose the claim, don’t always see eye to eye with the company.

In August 2008, two months after the case was launched, the board of franchisees invited Jollymore to discuss his concerns. According to his recollection, laid out in court documents, “most of the Advisory Board members at the meeting agreed that the erosion of franchisees’ margins was a problem,” and that some “acknowledged that they felt intimidated and bullied” by management.

Miles Mattatall, the Hamilton board member, sent a follow-up email to franchisees. He said the sit-down with Jollymore, who “has the same goals that we all do,” sparked a separate meeting with executives at TDL (Hortons’ corporate name). “We addressed many concerns including profitability and respect,” he wrote. “I am very optimistic that ‘change’ is to occur. I do believe TDL have gotten a strong message of discontent and that there has to be progress on two major issues . . . profitability and working relationship between TDL and the Franchise Group.”

Two months later, though, Mattatall and almost everyone else on the Advisory Board hired a lawyer of their own. They had decided that the Jollymores’ lawsuit—and not anyone at head office—was the real threat to their bottom lines. Claiming to speak on behalf of more than 300 store owners, they asked a judge to grant them intervenor status so they could argue against certifying the class action. The bulk of their evidence was provided by Joyce’s nephew, Graham Oliver.

“I do not agree with many of the material allegations and claims advanced by the plaintiffs. In fact, they are patently wrong and cannot be supported,” he wrote in one affidavit. “The plaintiffs also know that their claim is without merit, and that whatever their motivations for deciding to commence these proceedings, they are not based upon a bona fide belief in the claim as framed.” He added later: “Negative publicity has the potential of tainting the public image of the Tim Hortons brand, which is vital to our business.”

In November 2008, an Ontario judge denied the group’s request to intervene. As with all class action lawsuits, he ruled that potential class members can always opt out.

But for the concerned franchisees—and the company—a much bigger legal blow was yet to come.

Last year, lawyers for TDL asked Jollymore to consent to a sealing order on some of the documents the company plans to file as part of its defence, including detailed baking manuals and “highly confidential and competitively sensitive financial and business data such as profit margins and sales information.” Jollymore agreed to a partial sealing order, but insisted that some of the files—including the Always Fresh production manual—be made public.

Jeff O’Rourke, a senior finance official at the company, was stunned. In his own affidavit, he insisted that if the documents were disclosed, competitors would be able to pinpoint untapped markets and maybe even introduce their own par-bake infrastructure. “I have a great deal of difficulty in understanding why the plaintiffs, who are current franchisees, could conceivably want this information to be on the public record and available to Tim Hortons’ competitors,” he wrote.

Justice George Strathy wasn’t convinced. “The information described as ‘trade secrets’ is of the most general nature and at the very lowest level of ‘secrecy,’ ” he ruled in February. In fact, he said if a competitor wanted to copy Hortons’ par-bake style, it “would not likely need to know that you must bake a frozen lump of ingredients for a particular length of time at a particular temperature in order to a make a muffin.” Motion denied.

Hortons’ lawyers have yet to file those sensitive sales figures in court, but they must hand them over before Nov. 29, when Justice Strathy is scheduled to hear more motions from both sides. Jollymore will ask that the class action be certified; Hortons will request a summary judgment, arguing that the claim is baseless and should be thrown out.

Whatever happens, the evidence filed so far—enough to fill two banker’s boxes—has certainly taken a bit of the glaze off Hortons’ iconic image.

Cyril Garland claims that the company has resorted to “harassment” and issued repeated “threats and reprisals.” Hortons has already declined to renew the licence on one of his stores and “other franchisees are, quite rightly, fearful of the same consequence should they express any sort of adverse opinion.” Arch Jollymore has endured even worse (if the evidence is accurate). It was during an Advisory Board gathering in July 2008, right after he filed his suit, that he claims Paul House uttered his infamous threat: “If I had a gun, I’d shoot the bastard.” Jollymore also claims that a Toronto franchisee recently “suggested that I should be caused physical harm” for forcing owners to reveal their profit margins.

For the record, House has authored his own affidavit, but it is among thousands of pages of evidence that, like the profit margins, have yet to be filed by Tim Hortons.
In the meantime, the main players aren’t talking. Garland and Jollymore declined to be interviewed for this article. So did Graham Oliver and most of the other “concerned franchisees.” Those who did speak were brief. “I can only say that the Always Fresh system improved our profitability and has made our life much easier,” says Brent Gabbani, an owner from New Liskeard, Ont. Miles Mattatall—the Advisory Board member who wrote that Jollymore “has the same goals that we all do”—says he does “not know of any franchisee” who want to go back to the scratch baking days. “I personally have a great working relationship with TDL,” he told Maclean’s in an email. “And if I could buy more restaurants, I would.”

Head office isn’t granting interviews, either. David Morelli, Hortons’ director of public affairs, said the company will “politely decline” to comment while the case is still before the courts. However, Tim’s side of the story is laid bare in a publicly disclosed affidavit authored by David Clanachan, a long-time executive who oversaw the Always Fresh conversion.

“I truly believe that anyone with an appreciation of the Tim Hortons business model and the facts will conclude that the claim is completely baseless,” Clanachan wrote. “It is unsupported and unsupportable by the actual facts.”

Clanachan says every store owner—with the exception of Garland and Jollymore—understands that although the price of the frozen donuts are higher, franchisees have benefited from the convenience and the obvious labour savings. “Always Fresh Baking was and remains a business and economic success for every reasonably diligent franchisee,” he wrote. “The store margins have not been hurt by Always Fresh Baking. In fact, the margins are the same or better.” (Clanachan also denies that he or House ever told the owners that the new price of an unfinished donut would not exceed 12 cents.)

So why is Garland so adamant that the opposite is true? He is “an embittered franchisee” with “an unremittingly bad attitude,” Clanachan says. “We simply hear him out or read his memos and as politely as we can register disagreement and move on. Garland has major blind spots but he is not a stupid man and I am sure the situation is as frustrating to him as it is to us.”

And Jollymore? “As to why (if it is true) Jollymore hasn’t achieved labour savings when the average Ontario store owner has been able to, I can only say that it is likely that it stems from his abilities as a manager and a failure to follow the training provided with the necessary discipline,” he wrote.

Clanachan also addresses the issue that matters most to customers: the quality of the current donuts. Jollymore claims that the frozen versions have “a shorter shelf life,” and some do “not have the same aroma or taste.” Says Clanachan: “Our experience does not bear out this assertion.” To the contrary, he says Hortons has “received more positive comments about the aromas in the stores since Always Fresh Baking, since product is cooked more often.”

One man would certainly disagree: Ron Joyce. In his book, the Hortons founder writes that although the frozen donuts “have improved greatly” since they were first introduced, “they will never be as good as the fresh product we prepared completely in the stores.”

Near the end of his autobiography, Joyce also seems to foreshadow the current legal battle. “Since my departure in January 2001, senior management at Tim Hortons has begun altering its relationship with franchise owners by placing pressure on their margins,” he wrote. “When I owned the company, the number one customer of TDL was the restaurant owner. They were the backbone of the company; they were what made the system work. They are on the front lines, dealing face to face with the customer, and are therefore integral to the company’s success. Any change to that could have dramatic ramifications for the company in the long run.”

Like his cousin, Joyce declined an interview request. But Aileen O’Rafferty, the president of his charitable foundation, did pass along this message: “He still strongly believes in that statement and stands by it today.”




Browse

Tim Hortons’ extra-large trouble trouble

  1. Tim Hortons is a staple in my day as it is in most Canadians day.. I have worked for Tim Hortons for thirteen years and love everything about it. Always Fresh baking is the best thing that could have ever happened and it is the best way to keep our loyal customers happy. I have Tim Hortons to thank for everything i have. So thank you Tim Hortons.

    • Thanks for chiming in there, head office.

      Next time, take the trouble to sign in with a real account, establish some comment board credibility, then quietly fade away. If you'd like some online communications help, I do freelance.

      • I'm a Tim Hortons baker, and even though the company isn't going in the direction I want it to be going, Always Fresh is common sense. You can't have thousands of stores and have the quality of your baked goods, a staple product for Tim's, only as good as an individual baker. Consistency is a big thing. Plus, Always Fresh is easier, so I'm ok with it.

        Anyways, the article cites a store owner saying "having noticed what seemed to me to be smaller donuts, I instructed my bakers to periodically weigh each donut in randomly selected boxes as they unpacked them." Maybe that's why you're not profitable, dumbass, your labor costs must be out of control if you have your baker weigh every single donut in a box.

        • Statistical random sampling is an accepted method for maintaining quality, dumbass, so maybe you should stick to what you know well: reheating frozen lumps of highly processed dough.

          Calling yourself a Baker because you work for Tim Horton's is an insult to real bakers everywhere. Do you get brownie points for posting here?

        • Husband and friends stopped buying donuts at Tim's when they stopped baking them locally. I never liked them and can't stand their coffee, even when I was a coffee drinker. I don't frequent fast food, artery clogging places. I'd rather cook with real butter and real ingredients!!

          • our family has also stopped going to Tim Horton because the donuts are gross!

        • Give me a break! YES YOU CAN have fresh baked through-out Canada, bake them in a regional Tims set up fro baking,What Tims did was just for profit$.

      • Yes, some things are obvious. Or they could work at that Timmies in Shang-Ri-La

      • Check out http://www.thetdlgroupltd.com which is the name of the company that owns Tim Hortons. read about the group of former and current franchisees who are gathering to share the truth of what this company is all about. Very interesting site that I cannot believe exists??

    • I'm sorry to hear of horton's vice like grip on your life, Giving up the junk food and investing in home coffee brewing might be a good first step to re-hab. Good luck.

    • I have boycotted tim hortons and all related products the minute they switched to the frozen method. It is a hard struggle each day being canadian and having to watch the most profitable franchise in the country go from good service and ok product to terribly bad customer service(even got yelled at) and even worse product. The frozen donuts do taste very different and on top of being much smaller, it is true that never again have i got a wiff of fresh baked donuts in any Tim Hortons. The decline in quality of service and product can only be related to growing profit margins. I predict that Tim hortons will always be a canadian staple even when no part of it is Canadian only because new comers to this country never got the chance to experience the authentic, fresh and hand crafted treats we were once accustomed to…

      Never had i been more insulted in my life when i had to wait 10 minutes in an empty Tim Hortons for one lousy cup of Joe..

      • "Never had i been more insulted in my life when i had to wait 10 minutes in an empty Tim Hortons for one lousy cup of Joe.. "

        Like you walk in to Starbucks and ask for an xlarge double double and the snotty barista don't you mean a Venti? and then you wait for 10 minutes while you fill out a questionaire about how you would like your coffee….

        • @ tim: "Like you walk in to Starbucks and ask for an xlarge double double and the snotty barista don't you mean a Venti? and then you wait for 10 minutes while you fill out a questionaire about how you would like your coffee…."

          Um, no. If you go into a Starbucks and ask for a large they make you a large. The few that did "correct" patrons stopped doing that after they were made fun of in a few Hollywood comedies a couple years ago.

          If you want to take a mickey out of Starbucks, talk price.

    • Hello happy employee. I am glad you enjoy your job. I never go to Tim Hortons. I do not like the coffee. The food is not that great either. I go to a mom and pop coffee bistro. I get excellent coffee, great food and great service for the same price. Even better, most of the time they know what I want before I order.

    • It very well may be a staple in many peoples' lives, although you could open a Tim's right beside another one and It would still be packed. They don't care as much as they think about their customers. If people were to stop buying Tim's, it wouldn't matter because there would be a million people to replace them. They don't need customers, and they know this. If they cared at all about environment they wouldn't have drive through with ten-twenty cars idling in line for one coffee, when there is no line up inside. I wouldn't worry about this company, just because they lose money one year doesn't mean they are not rich anymore. If I worked there, I would be pround too, but don't be blind, people who work for oil and cable companies..etc.. are also proud of their company.

    • Every day I see people walking the streets of the Nation's capital with either a paper cup full of Tim Horton's coffee in their hand or a bottle of water. Makes me wonder …. why they can''t they have coffee or water at home or at work before they leave??? Is there no coffee or water available where they are going or from whence they came? I think they look stupid slugging back coffee at the red light, or sucking the top of a water bottle as they stumble down the sidewalk blinded by the bottle. I seriously believe, (and I am not alone) that there is something addictive added to the mixture of Tim Horton's coffee. I don't drink coffee – any coffee – and NO I do not drink alcohol either if that is what you are thinking. I just get such a laugh out of looking at all the addicted clones lined up at the Tim Horton Drive Thru's

    • I worked at Tim Horton's as a teenager. During those days, everything was baked fresh in the store. As an evening shift worker, my job was to throw out the old donuts and restock the fresh ones. The store I worked at would donate some of the day olds to the Red Cross. I don't eat Tim's alot- my boyfriend brought me some timbits the other day and I said to him I thought they weren't fresh which was odd. I can tell that they are different. I have eaten a lot of timbits in my time. This was a source of pride – that the donuts were to be baked on site. But as a company, Tim Horton's sponsors a lot of community events. I do think that they are just going through some pains right now, but in the end will work through the mess. I thought Wendy's bought them out a few years ago?I guess I am behind the times. Either way, no other donuts compare to Tim's, in my view.

    • Check out http://www.thetdlgroupltd.com which is the name of the company that owns Tim Hortons. read about the group of former and current franchisees who are gathering to share the truth of what this company is all about. Very interesting site that I cannot believe exists??

  2. "…Clanachan says every store owner—with the exception of Garland and Jollymore—understands that although the price of the frozen donuts are higher, franchisees have benefited from the convenience and the obvious labour savings…"

    This claim doesn't make any sense.

    The cost of labour would obviously be included in the per unit cost of a donut.

    So I might buy the convenience angle, and the savings from wasted overstock or improved profit from quick re-supply on a given day, but labour cost? That just doesn't make any sense.

    • Looks like everyone's measuring the same distance with a different yardstick.

    • I suppose the labour associated with the preparation of the frozen blobs in a single central location might be a tad more efficient than more steps taking place locally. So the price of labour might be marginally less per unit sold because of this. And if such is the case, multiplying that marginal saving by the insane number of units sold across the network could net you something pretty spectacular. Crappy Timbits. But spectacular cost savings.

      • The old process required skilled bakers that were hard to find / keep, and who had to be paid more. Salary, recruitment and training costs are lower (or so say my uncle, who owns a few stores). So though the frozen donuts cost more than the raw materials did, there is a labour savings, less waste and the ability to make more on short order rather than waiting until the next bake. As stated in the article. I've never asked him directly, but based on things he's said, I've come to believe he likes the new system better (at least as far as the baked goods go; he seems less thrilled about the sandwiches etc).

    • The main claim by Tims is and was a more consistant product when they went to frozen. My questions is….
      How can frozen be considered "Always Fresh". Also how many jobs were eliminated by not baking a now more expensive product? Makes no sense to me.

      • Ambiguity is a wounderful ambiguous to use

  3. Phil_King: I can see how the franchisees could save on labour. I would assume that the bakers from the early days were paid alot more than they’d need to pay them today. If I read correctly in the article, they now simply take the frozen donuts and defrost them. I would assume that requires little training and therefore, a lower wage. As a loyal consumer of their coffee, I sometimes indulge in a donut. In my humble opinion, the donuts, timbits and other pastries taste just fine.

    • Oops! Hit the "thumbs down" instead of the "thumbs up". You nailed it.

    • I think thier doughnuts are greasy and tastless except for the frosting. I welcome something that tastes like real baked goods or pastries!

      • Some donuts are fried, others are baked. It depends on what donut you want.

        • Every donut shop I baked in, all donuts are fried, yeast or cake are fried. The only things baked were muffins and pastries

    • @ business news junkie:

      I think what Phil_King is saying that the $0.09 cost reported for the donuts should *include* the labour costs per unit if it is a true cost per unit; just like the donut factory includes their labour costs in the $0.179 that they pass on to the franchisees. Therefore the cost of labour is already factored into the the per-unit cost, and is not available to be "saved". If the $0.09 CPU hadn't included labour costs, the judge would have tossed that number out of court.

      • Ding ding ding! We have a winner! LOL

        That's precisely what I meant, though I think you said it more succinctly.

    • I do not like donuts but i like the coffee , and i am Happy that its not as strong as real coffe because i drink it about 3 times per day… .

  4. Just a quick note: I used to be a baker at a Tim Horton's during the "bake-from-scratch" days, and I assure you that we were not much more highly paid than other employees. Don't get me wrong, it was a great job, especially the overnights, but the pay wasn't much more than other labour costs.

    • They never should have moved all their baking needs to a plant in Brantford. They should have just let their stores do all their own baking. "Always Fresh" my eye.

  5. High profits , slave wages. Nothing to tanks for.

  6. Never liked the not so fresh, fresh crap at Timmie's.The coffee also sucks, perhaps coming from switzerland, the hot chocolate might be way better

    • Well, Wes, If you don't like the coffee (don't blame you – it tastes like the cup you get it in ) then steer clear of the hot chocolate. It brings a whole new meaning to "Eau de Toilette"……..

  7. No its awful.

    • no really…its reconstituted dishwater and when compared to Starbucks…….much worse. Sorry Mr Tim.

      • You're kidding, right? Starbucks is where you go when you really don't LIKE coffee (or think looking cool is more important than what it tastes like). Overpriced, and doused with every additive they can think of to hide the flavour…

      • Simple if you like Starbucks you don't know the first thing about coffee…

  8. Franchisees should learn to treat their staff as humans, as Starbuck's seems to do. Staff at Tim's are dressed ridiculously and have minimal breaks, etc. It is an exhausting, degrading job and the owners should realize that if they invest in their staff, their bottom line will increase, regardless of whether or not the crap they serve is frozen or fresh.

    • Starbucks employees are maybe– maybe– treated only fractionally better than Tim's are. Barely any breaks as well. Barely more pay, and a rigid way of doing things.

      • Last I heard, starbucks employees have a benefits plan, free beans every week, and other goodies.

    • I am a Timmies manager and I can assure you that at our stores we are treated fantastically! Uniforms are a little blah, but thats not the choice of the owners. I do not find it degrading at all. I have been there 11 years. My owner invests everything in his staff. I am a lifer and proud of it!!

    • MB101 – you sound like a disguntaled ex or current employee of Tim Hortons, Tims pays for the work they hire for,back in the day when i worked there you would never walk in and find a dirty store,bathroom,long line ups etc…… the new way of Tims sucks and wish i had the money to start my own Donut shop and bring it back old school with from scratch baking…that to me is always fresh

    • Let's face it, Tim Hortons has gotten a lot of students through school. The best result is if there IS poor treatment, students will be more inclined to NOT end up working at a Tim Hortons and make something more of themselves. Way to go Timmies.

  9. I understand change for consistancy, but I have not purchased any baked goods from Tim Hortons since the change over to Maidstone, chunks of salt, smaller product, it was just nasty. Go into Loblaws or Zehrs, worth the effort, and if you want a coffee that truly tastes like coffee not some palate pleasing coffeee flavored water, even McDonalds coffee is better, but there are other choices. When I say McDonalds is better, its because it tastes like a full roast coffee and truthfully, thats coffee. The new ownership, well maybe once Tim Hortons blames them for falling sales, and the poor quaility products they Maidstone has produced since opening they will make a superior product and supply it to the donut shops of yesterday, good coffee, good donuts and good conversation. Try to get any of the three or combination there of in Tim Hortons stores. I wouldn't miss Timmies, it sure isn't what it use to be

    • Agreed. Upon explanation of the term ‘double double' real coffee lovers are horrified. Tim Horton's is ritualistic—the masses line up. Consume. Complain. Line up. On a recent trip home my American husband tried their “Iced Cap” in lieu of an authentic iced skim latte or anything like it. He coined it ‘diabetes in a cup'.

  10. Tim Hortons doughnuts are gross. End of story. Anyone ever tried a krispy kreme? No comparison.

    • Krispy Kreams' are awful – no wonder they couldn't make it in Canada eh! If you want great donuts try your local bakery – the one near us (port union bakery) is amazing . But honestly folks no one needs to be eating donuts anyway.

      • Cold krispy kreames are awful, but when they come right out of the vat they taste good – melt in your mouth good.

    • Krispy ?? Kreme??? more like oily fat

    • The best doughnuts I've had (after Tim's went bar-baked) were the ones made fresh everyday at my local IGA. Real baker, real doughnuts.

    • I prefer Tim's donuts to Krispy Kremes- I guess it is all about your own taste:)

    • Sure if you like a POUND of butter in every 12 donuts. OMG man…my arteries cring just thinking about it. FYI – I don't eat TImmies donuts either.

  11. The coffee is terrible, you are correct about that.

  12. I believe there is an official rule of the internet that states the first person to use a Hitler reference in any debate automatically loses.

    You lose.

    • Godwin's Law… :) and no, it doesn't mean he "loses" as such, it just means that the longer a debate goes on the chances of a hitler/nazi reference increases along with it. It was more a joke than anything…
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law
      :) I actually used to talk to that guy on Usenet before Usenet became a spam-filled wasteland…damn you September that never ended!!!

  13. It's true, it's not great. But it's tolerable.

    • I CAN"T stand TIm HORTONS coffee, It leaves a BURNT taste in my mouth!! yech!!

  14. "they" being Krispy Kreme, not Tim's. Just realized one could read it either way.

  15. The irony here more sad than delicious

    A) Franchise owners suing Tim Hortons because they are making less money thanks to the Always Fresh Baking system. Tims has agressively pursued an expansion strategy that has seen them open up franchises in small towns all over Canada, many of those that do (or more to the point, did) have a mom and pop bakery. They are the Wal Mart of the bakery industry. (Despite being a Wal Mart – my family's business continues to be in operation and do well though – hah!)

    B) What is it that is so Canadian about Tim Hortons – is it coffee and donuts – well no, that piece is also done by Country Time, and a whole host of other similar franchises, each of whom are more or less the same. I guess it is because Tims is about a hockey player – though the kids today wouldn't remember that. Tims is like Chapters. It is the externalization of a subconcious fear of being Americanized. Tims is about beating out Dunkin and Krispy, just as Chapters is about beating out Amazon (virtual I know), Barnes and Noble and Borders. We wrap them oh so tightly in the Maple Leaf just so we can say that we too have our own cookie cutter, independent business destroying chain.

    C) PS – I am not anti chains – they provide service and product according to a market. But do they represent our national character?? that one is a stretch.

    • In answer to point b – from their ownership it looks like the only Canadian thing about Tim's is their
      advertising. It seems ironic (has for years) that a marketing campaign of being Canadian is
      being done by a company with a large foreign ownership….

    • Where are all you people when we need feedback on issues that really matter in the news?? It's funny how the publishers will disable "feedback"/"comments" for the issues that really matter but here we are going "wild" over doughnuts? How mature. Not.

      • LOL, Yay Barb!

      • News stories that "matter" tend to get a lot more comments on Macleans than this story has.

      • These donuts do matter. A lot of people are share holders in the company or invest in it in some other way. I know I care where my money goes and so do a lot of other people.

    • They're iconically Canadian due to a fantastic branding campaign – like Molson candian. What makes it more canuck then country style coffe time – or my example labatts and a. keiths or the microbrews like steamwhistle. BRANDING.

    • Hey Parbaked – TIM HORTONS IS NOT CANADIAN!!!! They have not been Canadian for quite some time now. They are an American company out there stealing from thos poor Canadian suckers stupid enough to pay them because they thing "Buy Canadian".

  16. The new donuts aren't the same at all, and I personally haven't bought a Tim Horton's donuts in at least five years. I can't remember the last one, but they used to be a staple for our family gatherings. The Long Johns aren't long anymore. These people are morons. Franchisees who wish to bake from scratch donuts should be free to do so. I'm sure the recipes are still out there (flour and grease and sugar: it doesn't get much simpler than that), equipment's still available. Anyone remember COKE CLASSIC? I also see at least a movie in here, possibly mini-series. Start with the '67 Stanley Cup game, the one where the Leafs actually won. I can't recall if Tim Horton was in it, but it doesn't matter. I can't relive that moment enough.

  17. Tim Horton's is the Greediest, Poorest Payers in Canada.
    When my daughter in law started they handed her a dirty old too big uniform with two holes to wear. The outfit the last poor fired sucker wore. They dont pay fair prices for their coffee either. Scamming poor farmers..Dont support these Scrooges

    • Nasty Stuff, I think you should really get your details straight before you say things about them not paying fair prices for their beans. Just FYI, all "greens" which they are called, are bought off the commodities market. It doesn't matter if you're Tim Hortons, Country Style, or any other coffee provider, that has the volume capabilities to purchase green beans. They all buy from the same place, and pay the same price on that same day. It's a commodity, and changes every single day. They cannot go straight to the farmer and buy the beans from them.

      • Ever heard of fair trade? Obviously not.

        I assume that's what the poster was referring to.

  18. I have never liked Tim's coffee or their muffins/donuts (too much fat).

    I do give full credit to their marketing . I find it inconceivable that someone would
    idle their vehicle for half an hour in a morning line up waiting for their Tim's coffee.
    How Canadian are they? Again – great marketing.

    • I'm with you on this. Coming from the prairies I was astounded to hear that Tim Horton's was a "Canadian Icon" when they started a franchise in Afganistan with tax payers money. As Canadian as the maple leaf? Not to me or anyone I know. That's not to say they're not everywhere you look these days – there's practically one on every block downtown. ____This whole thing is marketing and profit margins. You can get rich owning a Tim Horton's franchise, but that's not good enough – you have to be able to get stinking rich I guess. Squeeze every last penny out of the rubes, they'll eat/drink anything. But pretend it's 'always fresh'. Where I come from fresh doesn't mean previously frozen.

  19. It's called a "doughnut" in Canada, not a "donut". It means a nut, just like the thing you screw onto a bolt, although made of dough.

    • Funny, because Tim Horton's and Country Time both refer to them as donuts. The difference in spelling is not really a regional designation, but more of a development over time to shorten the word. So, "donut" is just fine with me.

  20. WOW GOOD TO KNOW …NO MORE DOGHNUTS FOR ME , TIM'S HAS BECOME JUST ANOTHER GREEDY MONEY MAKING VENTURE AND FOR THEM IT'S WHO CARES IF IT'S FRESH OR NOT AS LONG AS THE MONEY KEEPS COMING

    • No more dog nuts for me, either!

  21. i love TIMS

  22. I consider myself a coffee connaseur. I make my own from freshly ground beans. Years ago, Tim's coffee was very strong and tasted pretty good. That changed about 10 years ago when it was "watered down " to it's present form. I have purchased a coffee from Tim Hortons maybe three times in the past 10 years when I had little other choice, and all 3 times I drank less than half a cup and then pitched it. I can't understand why their drive thrus are always backed up as the coffee is horrible.

    • I've heard it's because they add MSG to their brew. Could just be a rumour, but it wouldn't surprise me.

      • You'd be surprised how many fast food joints use MSG to enhance the flavour of their foods.

      • Check the label. If it says msg, its in there. If it doesn't it's not. They can't add anything to the coffee an not report it in the ingredient declarations. They need to keep their lawyers happy.

    • PSSST,
      "connoisseur"
      If you're going to be the best, you need to be perfect.

  23. I cannot live without my Timmies. Period.

    • That image of the splattered jelly doughnut LOOKS like "Timmies Period." Ugh!

  24. It is unfortunately a business norm that when a venture is particularily successful the profit vultures come in for the kill and use every means to squeeze every possible penny by any means usually to the eventual detriment of the product. It's shameful if that is what is happening to this iconic Canadian company.

  25. I too used to be a baker at Tim Hortons and I made the donuts, brownies, muffins, baked the cakes and decorated them, baked the pies, tarts, cookies, and everything else that appeared in the display case from scratch. I took pride in my job and knew that nothing would appear for sale that wasn't worthy of my own family. With todays economy, money and profits are the bottom line and quality has been comprised for an economical version of the same product. When I want donuts, tarts, etc, I will buy them at smaller bakeries that still make them each day in their deep fryers and ovens. Just like milk, bread, etc was delivered to your front door fresh and conveniently, many fast-food coffee shops and bakeries are giving out contracts to the lowest bidders or selling the rights, trying their best to conceal the truth from the consumers.

  26. Canadians are sheepel. They will buy anything Canadian no matter if it tastes like crap!

    • If people only new the behind the lines stories of workers, maybe they would not be so quick to give up their $$$'s to Tim's. When they sold out to Wendy's, I stopped going to Tim's. Opting for the mom&pop shops, where the product is really fresh.

    • Gotta agree with you Jim. People need to wake up. In the sixties, "Buy Canadian" meant something. Today it means "Pay twice as much for half the quality because we believe you are stupid enough to do so…."

      • Sad but true, Terry.

    • Jim.you are full of crap about Canadians.i resent the comment. as a matter of fact,i never liked Tim Hortons coffee and never buy it.i don't like their donuts either,so you are so wrong about this canadian.

  27. Haven't bought a donut from Tim's since they switched to parbake. Donuts and muffins are smaller. You can tell they are baked in an oven!!! Tim's doesn't make their profit on donuts………coffee for sure. Years ago a pot of coffee cost 7 cents to produce…..think about it!! Liquid gold!!! No wonder they don't want the financials to get out to the public. This article was a great read. Look forward to the outcome. This is great water cooler talk.

    • What got me was that about 8 – 10 years ago, tea used to cost about $0.80, no matter what size you wanted – because all you're paying for really is a tea bag and they charged you for that. So my dismay when the cost of an extra large tea almost doubled overnight, and they put two tea bags into the extra large which made the drink way too strong way too quickly. I hate having to ask for just one tea bag in every time I order an extra large tea – such a waste of time, especially when its busy and the order taker doesn't make the order clear to those preparing it and I end up having to debag my tea before driving away. And don't get me started on the stupid steeped tea campaign…

  28. Just another example of shareholders greed……..remember last year??? Just think of all the unemployed people in north america as well, who thanks to this greed, have to work at a slave shop like Tim's!!!

    People…..wake up and smell the coffee (so to speak!). 94.1 million profit last quarter!!!! I have a daughter that works for Tims, she had to sew up her own uniform because the establishment couldn't afford to give her a new one!!! Seems to me that 94 million profit could translate into reinvestment to at least let the people who run the front lines feel good with decent uniforms that fit and are well kept!!!

    • Wow lots of outlook about tims. I was drinking about 30 to 50 large cups per week now maybe 10 why there not always fresh for one thing not sludge but not fresh when they are fresh get atleast double cream and double sugar and they taste great but without that I find them bitter I had no problem with other donut shops that were knocked off by Tims they do well because they have some consistancy in there day to day workings.But just like others have done they will build to many stores close together and then they stop making profit and stores will start to close.Inside fighting is what franchises do and is a problem thats why Mcdonalds manage most of there stores now that they have the money to do so just put a manager in the location and tell him what to do. But is still better then starbucks and the other so called gourmet coffee shops that pour from a thermos and make you add your own cream and sugar for a bigger price tag per cup no thanks hate them. Another thing with tims is the cutback on sugar my coffe is never right now with the cream or sugar unless the regular girl that we like to get is in or on shift and this girl even stirs the coffee.

      • Dude. Less coffee. Seriously. :)

      • ….wow! You mean to tell us you drink 5 to 7 cups of TH coffee a day?!?!? That is over $100 a week – $5200 a year!! I know the owner smiles when you show up every day. The average owner makes well over $300,000 a year and they can't even pay a half decent wage to the employees. I gave up TH about 5 years ago to drink more water and I feel 100% better all day – try a little; you will get off the caffeine rollercoaster and save some money!

    • Well said Gary, uniforms are nice but we go there to buy there products right, owners could make the employee buy new uniforms at cost, at least we know they will take care of them, if they are supplied by a company its up to them to make sure the clothing they supply and clean is in top shape, and if they cannot do that then sorry you lose the contract.
      This uniform money should be comming out of the profits of these establishments after all they are making money
      like crazy.

  29. I have always loved Timmy's Coffee, but you know I did notice years
    back that the donuts are so doughy, use to love a apple fritter & the
    honey crowler & boston cream. I don't buy the donuts as much anymore, they are way to doughy. Would love to see them baked fresh again each early morning, come on Tim's let see old style home like baked goods again.

    • Will never happen thats how they can sell more stores to the same owner they could never own more then 2 if they needed to bake there own twice a day owners would have to be in there locations with hands on more then they do now I goto two location and I dont know the owner of them some of the staff I know.

  30. I worked for Tim's during the transition to parbaked (aka 'partially baked') goods. Before the introduction of the parbake doughnut we were throwing out half a garbage bag (the big black/green variety) of doughnuts and/or sweets every night. It was unreal. I cannot say that I agree with the new contract but I believe that the transition to parbake has in fact reduced waste. It very much upset me to think of all the hungry people in the world while we were throwing out perfectly good food (not 'healthy' mind you). Whether you want to admit it or not, it makes good 'business' sense.

    That being said, I am finding it increasingly difficult to justify 1.52 for a lg coffee every morning. If you don't like what Tim's is doing then don't support them. Do what I do and go buy a tin/bag of coffee and make your own. It takes all of, what, 3 minutes? That's probably how long you spend in the drive-thru waiting for your coffee anyway. Double bonus: you'll help the environment too.

  31. Restaurants are dirty. Staff can't always speak nor understand English.
    Washrooms unfit for use
    Wake up Tim Horton!

  32. I worked for Tim's for a few years…I've also done my time at various other food joints including Wendy's, Fast Eddie's, and Angels and I can't even describe the crap I've seen in my time there. I'd sat and watched people pop pimples and then handle food without washing their hands…I've seen vats of Tim Horton's Ice Capp mix with a thin film of some sort of fungus on it because it hadn't been changed (I've seen that in 3 DIFFERENT stores in different areas). The quality of Tim's product has dropped to near ground levels, when I first started there we used fresh muffin batter that we scooped into the trays to bake…they then got changed to frozen pucks we tossed into the oven that tasted half as good…now it's gotten to the point where their Chocolate Chip muffins are actually referred to as "Chocolate FLAVORED Chip muffins" (which effectively means "no bloody chocolate"). Their coffee is low-quality, pre-ground garbage…the truth is, no other restaurant I've worked at has been any better, Angel's was utterly obscenely disgusting to work at, people sneezing in their hands and making food, picking their noses and making food…just thinking about it makes me nauseous. I will virtually never eat out anymore unless I see the product being made in front of me, it simply isn't worth it.

    • I believe you are correct. my wife worked at Arby's for a time and observed so many disgusting acts. Primarily from workers. One occasion she witnessed was from a worker who cleaned a washroom that someone had had an accident in any the worker tried to go straight back to working without washing her hands. (until my wife smartened her up) So, I think anywhere you eat outside the home is pure chance for not getting ill.

  33. What this article pinpoints is that it's profit before quality, and the customer comes last. I don't know how you can call something "always fresh" when there's nothing fresh about it. For a long time I tried to stay loyal to Tim's because I'm one of those sentimental Canadian fools, but I gave up. Let's be honest, the coffee really isn't that good. There's virtually no coffee flavour to it. Even McDonald's coffee is better. I'll feel good tomorrow walking by Tim's to get my bold flavoured coffee from Starbuck's.

  34. I gave up on Tims when the Donuts started to shrink. Today their donuts are 1/2 the size they were 10 years ago – and not as tastey.

  35. I find it amazing, all the people who complain about the poor quality of their doughnuts, and that they should go back to baking from scratch. Would all these people want to pay more for their products from Tim Hortons, or would you again complain about the increased costs of thier coffee, doughnuts, bagels, etc? You can guarantee, that if full time bakers were to be hired to do this, prices would increase. It's the way it is, and the way business goes. You find ways to better utilize what you have and to cut costs, hopefully not affecting quality too much. If the quality was that bad, and profits weren't good, you can guarantee they wouldn't be doing it still. For every 1 person who thinks their products are that bad, their are probably 5 or 10 who really don't care, and eat them anyway, as an indulgent once in awhile. Remember people, these aren't meals, but indulgent snacks.

    • Thanks for you imput. The doughnuts stink and yes I would pay more for the old ones. I just go to a real bakery now and get great product that we used to get at Tims

  36. I am a baker at Tim Hortons. In my opinion, I will take a premade baked donut over a deepfried glob of mess anyday. They look great, are always readilly available to the customer and with todays health concerns – much more sanitary to make!
    As with everything now a days, products are being made faster and cheaper. Healthier needs to come next, though I think Tim Hortons is trying to do that, without sacrificing taste. It is a hard thing to accomplish, considering peoples need to indulge in real sweets.
    Besides, there is much more scandal to worry about under each Tim Hortons roof, and it has nothing to do with the products being served…

    • I guess you dont know what fresh means and those frozen bucks that you bake were fried before you got them you maybe be a so called baker as tims would call it but please to become a baker takes years what is done buy tims now is not baking finished prep and fill the shelf is what you do not scratch baking and even that term is wrong they used to make donuts from a pre mixed bag made by DNA or Robin Hood let me tell you DNA was not very good but Robin Hood made some very good pre mixes and DNA would be used why because of money Robin Hood was better but cost more. Now as far as better never happen can they sell them looks like they sell ok and if anyone is worried about what they eat Tims is not the place to be eating is it. I'm so sorry the trades are gone here in canada and that is there loss.

      • JOHN. Comma, Comma, Comma,. My fault I guess. As soon as I saw your name I should have just looked away. My brain hurts even more now.

  37. Tim Horton is an addiction to many people their product is like any other place now. Some young people don't even know it was started by a famous hockey player. Too bad.

  38. i can and have been living wthout them for years. can't stand there coffee it's so damn bitter and there donuts are small and usually stale.can't see what all the fuss is about….steve richmond hill ont.

  39. This company flip flops from Canadian to US (Wendy's) ownership. ( I don't deal with turn coats) I know is was a tax and expansion decision. But the product got smaller and the price stayed the same. Another reasonyou lost my business. I would rather go to a mom & pop coffee shop than Tim's.

    • It's about time someone commented on the fact that Tim Hortons is No longer a Canadian owned Corporation.
      Macleans has not even mentioned this fact in their article.

      I think its about time Macleans does an article letting people know that Tim Hortons, is Not a Canadian Company anymore, or are they afraid of the repricussions from going up against a giant American Conglomeration.
      Come on Macleans write the story, or are you USA owned too?

  40. After 15+ years of Tim Horton's, I just quit cold turkey……. going on week 3. And after reading the above, Kudos to me!

    • That's funny…you started with Timmies about the same time I stopped – about 15 years ago. The reason I quit was because their formally full-bodied and delicious coffee turned to watered-down crap around then.

  41. hey everyone the frozen product goes into a poofer that raises the dough. then they bake it.okay. It takes time, but it is alot easier for them to produce more product then have none on the shelf.

    • not true ..it goes from the freezer to the "oven" no proofing involved at all . these so called baked goods are noithing more than reheated, undercooked, undersized pieces of dough with sugar poured over them to give them some semblance of flavour.

  42. Starbucks coffee is superior to TH……and don't even think about comparing the service you get at Starbucks vs TH………..poor quality product and service, nothing Canadian about that!

    • We need a new coffee shop to startup and kill all the crap out there even Starbucks, second cup Dont have any sevice omg all they do is poor it in a cup and you goto a counter and do the rest, To many coffees and the high price is for what? Oh and then they poor it from a thermos wow thats freash I think the thermos even changes the taste.

  43. A national religion? Try an Ontario religion. In Vancouver we worship Starbucks … or anyone else that can produce a grande non fat half sweet no foam chai latte. Ordinary brewed coffee. Pffft. Once again Ontario assumes it represents the entire country.

    • omg add some cream to coffee wow thats hard to do only thing in that name is it will cost you some BUCKS and what is wrong with us they are even bigger then Tims Yuk Maybe its good for the yuppies not sure maybe its the weather in vancover or where most of our home less hang out because of the weather hold on maybe starbucks.

    • No, really? A little presumptuous, and a little paranoid, to assume you speak for so many. Starbucks makes a very good cup of (expensive) coffee; here on the Island Serious Coffee makes a better cup, without the pretension of Starbucks AND they are Canadian invented, owned, and operated. I buy from both. I ALSO buy from Timmies when I want to. Tim Horton's has been a great Canadian success story and silly anti-Ontario Vancouver chauvinism doesn't change that. It is often said that Toronto desperately wishes it was New York; it could equally be said that [quite a few people in ] Vancouver desperately wish it could be Toronto (but with the beaches, mountains, skiing, sailing, and weather unchanged).

      • Andy. Grab a sense of humour. I was joking for crying out loud. …although there's no denying the Ontariocentrism of the original article. Whatever you want to worship on the West Coast, I don't think there's any question that Tim's just doesn't have the profile that it does in the east.

    • An Ontario only religion? I've never heard anything so ridiculous. The people of the Atlantic provinces could not exist any longer without Timmies in their bellies!

  44. Just to clear the air in regards to Maidstone. They do NOT make the muffins (as suggested in the article) but they do produce the doughnuts, timbits ,pastry and bread ( which is the only product that is "par-baked", as all doughnuts and timbits are all fully cooked, then reheated in the store) I do agree that in the beginning that the product did become a little inferior, but that was due to being the first time anyone had tried this method. For those of you who have not enjoyed the product for several years probably should go back and try it, they have improved greatly. The biggest reason for the switch had to do with profitability and consistency of the product. If a store baker was able to " downsize" the product then that franchisees profits go up and the baker who made the product to big was giving away profits. The change was done with the franchisees in mind and the thoughts were about the bottom line and consistency of the product. I have been inside the Maidstone plant and it is one of the cleanest and high tech facilities in the world, you could literally eat off the floors there. In regards to the sale and the belief that the donuts are made by a foreign company are just not true, the product is made by employees who live in Canada. These folks work hard and long and try to make the best product that they can. I think that if you look around at different companies and dig into who actually owns them you would be surprised at how many are owned by American and European companies. I live in the Brantford area and other than Maidstone we also have Western Waffle (american owned) SC Johnson (american owned) Ferrero Roche ( italian owned) Wescast (american,italian owned)
    Don't slag Maidstone for being who and what they are because it was THD who made the decision to make the product this way, they are just able to turn a profit because of it. I for one applaud Maidstone as they brought several hundred jobs to the Brantford area and are one of the better employers in the area as their treatment,wages and benefits given to the employees is outstanding.

    • Great to hear I also did work for a large bakery jane parker was a good place to work for about 450 workers then it was sucked up for the bigger guy. The same thing may happen in 2016 buy the sound of it the contract ends then maybe they can send from where ever Wendy"s make ther buns all the best Im sure its a nice plant geared to make money with the least amount of staff machines dont make to mutch mess unless they break down

      • From what I know, Wendy's buns are made in Edmonton, Ab. Canadian owned and operated.

    • as a worker in the maidstone plant i can tell you right now that maidstone is sanitary efforts have deteriorated from 9 years ago when the plant was first opened. We were proud of the fact that we had obtained a AIB (American Institute of Baking) platinum rating for our facility. This year our rating in satisfactory. and we are getting a AIB pre audit this month prior to the actual audit due to our decrease in the rating.__

      • In the rest of your comments i agree, hundreds of jobs, great wages, and benefits, the continental shifs are exhausting, and there are still areas they are ignoring that will eventually lead to numerous repetitive injuries that the operators in the factory have come up with great suggestions to fix or eliminate these problems but some of these fixes will be expensive and Maidstone does not want to spend the money to fix these problems. I am in particularly concerned with heavy lifting in several locations in the factory. Big bag room, Prep room and especially the packaging area. If you look at Maidstones injuries most are preventable, if a little money would be spent. __These area's are low profile for the company. All money for improvements go into the sheeter, proofer areas where the "visitors" want to see. __

    • Thank you… Maidstone is one of the best companies in the area with good benefits and good pay, feeding the local economy. It's the best company that I ever worked for..

  45. i used to go to Tim's all the time for their fresh donuts, but when they started getting rid of their bakers, and buying frozen, it just wasn't the same anymore.

    tim bits tasted different, their more cheaply made where as before they tasted like a small cake.

    some times we cut costs to achieve what we think is going to be a better product but in the end we realize we've made a mistake and can't turn back…

    so you lost my business and i'm sure you lost other people as well.. i will buy on occassion from tim's but i hardly ever buy their bakery products anymore.

    it just ain't the same anymore….. and that's a shame

    • Well they never could make a good donut but some of there other things were good but for Donuts Krispy Kreme had that locked up as for Dunkin Donut from the states the Tims Dont know what they have.

      Has all have said it about money and ease of all to produce it may not be the best but it is selling why because most people dont know what it should taste or be like because everywhere you go is the same crap made the same way to a degree

  46. i also predict in a few years that these coffee shops will fall with a thud, their trendy… and people tend to hang around the parking lots to meet with their friends, buy a coffee and shoot the breeze, i guess they can't smoke inside anymore so they smoke outdoors… cause havoc for the store owners & employees.

    i still like country style coffee

  47. I agree! Nothing special about it…yet.

  48. I don't go to Tim's because they don't take Visa.

    • If you have to put $1.52 on Visa you have bigger problems than Timmy's.

  49. OMG. The intellect of the posters on this issue is embarrassing. At least learn some basic grammar and spelling, people. As for Tim's, people will always attack the front-runner. The truth is, it is one of the best, cleanest and healthiest players in the QSR industry, and a boon to the communities it serves, both in terms of employment and quality. Coffee Time, Country Style, Starbucks and the rest, with their 24 hours old (or more) products, are sucking you in, and can get away with it, because nobody pays much attention to the alos-rans.

    • I don't care if they are the front runner or not. Their product is bad and that is what matters to me. I'm not blind and loyal rather go where the quality is and it's not at Tims anymore.

    • Thanks for your input teacher but it would seem you know nothing what is good or bad and yes they have a following for now I think that will change in time like all big money grabbers with sharholders so if you think the INTELLECT is bad why even comment at all at least they said something.

  50. also-rans (haha)

  51. Try this experiment: Get a double-cup and use the clean one with any brand of regular coffee at home and you'll believe it was from the store. They do something to their cups that make you go back… something in the wax or ink?

    • It's a chemical called returnium. Made in their labs and a very carefully guarded secret. You shouldn't let people know that you know. (things happen to people who talk about it, they disappear) I shouldn't have stated this on here. gotta go, someone is at the door

  52. It must just be the Tim's you frequent because every Tim's I've been to tastes just fine to me… And I'm a REAL coffee drinker ;-)

  53. I never eat their pastries … I just drink their coffee but it's almost $2 for an XL… Good Grief considering I have about 3 per day minimum

  54. Tim's coffe and doughnuts suck. I still can't understand how so many people drink the swill they pawn off as coffee. I drink my coffee black, and let me tell you, when you do so, you can tell a good cup from crap and Tim's is some top rated crap.

    Go have a nice espresso at an Italian Bar…now there's a coffee.

  55. I agree that their doughnuts are awful since the switch. Lardy tasting and so small with too much glazing AKA Krispey Kream. I won't buy them anymore and if they don't start cleaning the coffee machines I won't be buying that either.

  56. All I can say is that I don't go to Tim Horton's. They do not have anything worth paying for, least of all, their "baked" goods. No sorry, the baked goods are better than the coffee. Watching the news over the past couple of years I wonder how Tim Horton;s manages to keep it';s public image. One news story after another has shown that they really have no regard whatsoever for the paying consumer other than they represent income. Tim's does not, and as far as I have ever been able to tell, has never shown a belief in "service". They have always been, to me anyway, a money grubbing corporation that would sell off their grandmothers for a quick two cents. It's no wonder the store owners don;t want their profit margins made public. If the public found out what kind of profit is being made that would put a stop to the business. One thing I really can;t believe is how many people out there still consider them to be a Canadian institution and still claim that is reason enough for them to go to Tim's. Tim Hortons has not been Canadian for quite some time. Never liked Tim Hortons, never will like them. They do represent the growing trend in Canadian business though – GREED – GREED – GREED.

  57. forget about the decore and habit try anyother donut shop coffee and you will surly swithch

  58. Go to a real coffee shop, discover coffee !

    Zombies in line at "Timmy's" for brown that water are a sad bunch.

    I mean hey, my portfolio needs you but on a human level, visit a local shop and indulge your addiction, aquire a taste, evolve.

  59. I was nine years old when Tim Horton himself opened his very first store on Ottawa Street in Hamilton. It was in 1964 and my Dad and I were there when the doors opeded for the very first time. I will never forget walking in the door and all you could smell was fresh cooked donuts and the aroma of freshley made coffee. That's what made Tim Horton's the absolute Best coffee shop in the country. Tim would roll over in his grave to see what's going on with his Dream today.

  60. I remember buying cakes and pies at Timmies. They were excellent. Now it's more of a restaurant than a bakery. And now I know why. I have friends who are franchise owners. They are not poor by any stretch of the imagination. At least my friends (a couple who own 6 franchises in southcentral Ontario) are not ones to flaunt their money. There is good and bad to what has happened, but I personally go to country style now for my doughnuts. :)

  61. This is an outstanding article regarding franchise investment.

    Renting a trademark as a mom-and-pop oftentimes runs into trouble of all kinds. .

    Les Stewart MBA
    Midhurst ON Canada
    FranchiseFool : WikidFranchise.org : LinkedIn

  62. The old way is always the best way…fresh! I do not even eat their donuts anymore its not the same, worked there right when they changed everything and it just tastes processed but really its all about the mighty dollar…so in the end take it or leave it

  63. TDL could easily settle this by buying back the franchise at market value from them. That would demonstrate TDL's commitment to the other franchisees and confirms their own belief.

  64. Thank goodness we have Second Cup.

  65. While I wish I had money to invest in a Tim Horton's franchise, I do not think their coffee can compare to my home brew which is perked on a stove. Their donuts are also inferior to Robin's donuts, which unfortunately has all but disappeared in Winnipeg over the last decade due to Tim's and StarUcks. Safeway has better donuts. Do not understand the obession over Tim's. I'll leave the long lineups and inferior products to their fans, as I am NOT one!

  66. Iconic Canadian franchisors are doing this to other franchisees in Canada. Maple Leaf Food is squeezing profits from dempsters franchisees for the same reasons as TDL Group. Consumers end up paying more for less and the only winners are the executives and corporate greed.

  67. Any idiot paying $1.37 for a cup of med. coffee should have his head examined let alone paying high price for a frozen donut

    People, brew your own coffee and save $1.25 and donate some of it to charity of your choice
    If you do not donate than homemade coffeee would be $.12 including hydro cost for brewing it.

    Also buy a dozen of bagels for $2.99 and cream cheese for another $2.99 and have 12 days of breakfast for the total cost of $..52 per day
    including coffee.
    Do not be brain washed by these people
    Also, Timmy does not pay that well to their employees but sure realize a great profit.

    The workers should open their own chain called " MAKING A LIVING OUTSIDE TIM HORTONS WITH THE BETTER COFFEE AND DONUTS AT THE DECREASED COST"

  68. These profit margins have been squeezed for sometime now at Tims. Please visit http://www.thetdlgroupltd.com or http://www.timhortonslies.wordpress.com Tim Hortons has been trying to hide this information for sometime now. Hopefully that this classaction will be able to reveal documents that the public should see how this company harasses franchisees and bullies them. They destroy families and relationships as most of these stores are run by families. Putting them into financial dispair. This company is ruthless and will stop at no lengths to shut you up. Please visit http://www.thetdlgroupltd.com and http://www.timhortonslies.wordpress.com.
    This company and their executives and lawyers should be completely ashamed of themselves for their conduct and deception.
    This is a horrible company and it has done many many terrible things to its franchisees.

  69. This is funny , I have to sober up but not with this stuff .

  70. Just another fast food poison spewing entity. Think about what is good for Canadians. Not some frozen donut hole with crappy coffee in my oppinon. I don't support them one penny of my hard earned cash. Who knows…maybe they'll go away.

  71. If all these people on here don't like Tim's, where are they going to? Starbucks?? Now, there's a really greedy company.

  72. Check out the site http://www.thetdlgroupltd.com and see that Tim Hortons is trying to hide the truth by having former franchisees who fail sign confidentiality agreements. These people have risked everything to reveal the truth. Never entering a tims again.

  73. WOW John. Have you ever heard of a comma? It hurt my brain trying to read your article.

  74. There certainly is a difference between different franchises. It's great that there is such a high density of Tim Hortons franchises — I just remember and go back to the clean, friendly, and fresh ones. (I had always wondered how they could possibly make money from the chicken salad sandwich combo!) It makes business sense to appease our desire for Canadian-ness — I like their Canada donut with the maple leaf-shaped icing confetti. Some still have it, despite the Olympics being over. Donut looks more correct than doughnut — perhaps because they've gotten smaller. Anyways, even if they only break even with the sandwich, they must still be making money from my getting their Canada donut. But there's a much smaller chance of my buying a donut without going in there for lunch.

  75. The extent to which some commenters care about this issue is incomprehensible to me. Small-time, individual baking isn't going anywhere, but it's also not as profitable as large-scale mass production. Canadians can sneer at economies of scale and insist on paying double if they want to, but that's not a systemic problem, it's a personal preference. The best doughnut you can eat is the one you make yourself – that's not the point. Few of us bake doughnuts with enough regularity to make them a consistent part of our diet, but lots of us like going to a fast food franchise for an inexpensive snack. And $3 for a coffee and a doughnut is a pretty inexpensive snack. If you feel otherwise, get something cheaper that you like better. Big deal. That's how preferences work. And preferences are what drive economies.

    Kooky Canadians always over-emotionalize economics.

  76. Tim Horton's…Isn't that owned by an American company? Wendy's.
    And the baked goods really are gross at.

  77. Tim Horton's donut and baked pastry products have gotten increasingly disgusting over the last 5 years. Whatever that liquid sugar crap they are spraying all over them is during the baking process has made them so unappealing; as a result my family hasn't bothered much with purchasing anything other than a coffee or tea once in a while. Even the coffee has no consistent taste half the time. McDonald's does a far better job of cheap, chain made coffee.

    Given the fact I now know they are not contributing to Canadian business success by selling out to a Swiss company I am even MORE inclined to search out the smaller, local and homegrown bakeries where I live and spend my money there instead.

  78. The more I hear about the new & improved TimCorp, the less this Canadian feels any loyalty to whatever giant faceless conglomerate owns Wendy's & Tims and whatever else. Instead? Buy local– support your local coffee-shops & restaurants, franchises, mom-pop outfits, and to heck with the new Wal-Tims, if they want to act like just another bad corporate citizen sucking up dollars from we the sheeple, and treating their workers like rubbish.

  79. omg it is only coffee and doughnuts !!!!not life threatening !!!1

  80. make your coffee at home you lazy and environment destructive bastards…

  81. Forget the problems at Tim Horton's. The best doughnuts in the world come from Donuts Now in Exeter ,Ontario. I think I feel a road trip In the near future. It's just north of the Timmie's. Hmmm?

  82. how wonderful, a big american company found a way to replace skilled workers, so they can make more money. and owners oppose a lawsuit because they don't want to come across as "wealthy, greedy people." but if you're not wealthy, greedy people, i doubt you'd be trying to hide what you're earning. i'll tell you what i earn, about $30 or $40 thousand a year. SFA. i really don't know if i can ever go to tim horton's again.

  83. Well this article has incorrect information. The article states "Maidstone, the Brantford, Ont., bakery that mass-produces donuts and muffins for every "Tim's" in the country." This is not true as Maidstone Bakeries does not produce any muffins. Maidstone Bakeries produces Donuts, Timbits, Home Style Buns, Croissants, Danishes, and Cinnamon Rolls.

  84. This MORON, HATE mongral, doesn't know the Jollymores at all. I worked, and my children worked for the Jollymores all through there high school and university years and still do on a part time bases when needed. As far as I can remember their stores were frequently rated by the Tim Horton head office as top performers. A result of hard dedicated workers and management. Do your homework before shooting off your STUPID mouth. The Jollymores are wonderful loving people how dare you compare them to such. YOUR a Disgrase.

    • @ Tim: Relax. "Steve" is unaware of two things, or 'he' wouldn't have posted that. 1. Your posts can be traced to your ISPN, and therefore are not anonymous. 2. "Steve" offensively libelled thew Jollymores by comparing them to Nazis, and could be sued.

  85. I can't believe that after knowing that what you are eating was made in some factory thousands of miles away and not even prepared by a cook or baker, that you would still even consider calling it a donut etc. There is no comparison to deep frying and making homemade style donuts to this crap that is frozen.Why have the customer's standards changed so much?Because is it super cheap? It is sad to think that today in 2010, that people still accept this mediocre attempt at baking to be normal.I bet kids today think that Tim Horton's actually makes donuts that taste like donuts!

  86. I am in shock! I missed the memo about all of this!
    In this age when Canada seems to be selling itself off (to the Americans and other Foreign Interests) piece by piece, I try to stick to buying Canadian, from Canadian companies.
    I had no idea that Timmy's was no longer Canadian (yes, I think I was living under a rock at that time).
    They've lost me.

  87. tim hortons is horrible tasting crap, always fresh my a$#

  88. Your rignt for the head office, but the franchisee, all the profit come from the sale of bakery and coffee. In respond of a writer, the cost per unit doesn't count the labor cost. In the article, it's said that it's not a big step, but think about it on every donut that they sale now compare to the past it's about 8 cents les profit. IT'S HUGE

  89. Anyways, Tim Hortons has always been about distribution in a closed loop system. They're about selling product to franchisees at a substantial profit. Brilliant really. But it's no surprise that they chose to close the loop and profit directly from the baked goods.

  90. Bakers are not paid enough, and Tims was and is like the rest out there. You get paid by the bake, not the hour. If something broke like a mixer or fryer you didn't get paid more because it took you longer. You get paid by the night's bake.

    • at tim hortons you get paid by the hour for the bake. i worked there and they gave me 2 choices. get paid 1.50 more an hour and get no tips or get paid like the rest of the workers and get included in tips….i took the tips and made WAY more than if i had taken bakers wage.

  91. I'm ok with the owners being wealthy. But not with buying degraded quality baking. It was great before. Now it's disappointing. The brand still seems strong-but I don't find myself loving it anymore. The sandwiches and soups dropped in quality too. At one point my dad asked why their packaged coffee tasted different than what was served at the store: they said it was because the coffee is relabeled Maxwell House.

  92. …and soon, Timbits made in China.

  93. I used to love going to TH cfor coffee then the coffee changed, I now go elsewhere but visit them for a donut fix once in a while.

    We ordered a chocolate milk and were served a dairy milk product – yikes – it was horrible. It is not in all TH but we always ask is it real chocolate milk?

    I have written to TH a few times to say good things like chocolate/coconut donuts should be in all stores or please eliminate bring back chocolate milk – I have received no answer – I guess they are not interestedin customer opinion

  94. Check out http://www.thetdlgroupltd.com which is the name of the company that owns Tim Hortons. read about the group of former and current franchisees who are gathering to share the truth of what this company is all about. Very interesting site that I cannot believe exists??

  95. Here we go again. A truly Canadian company selling out to another company in another country (Chocolate Tim bits from Switzerland)) to line their pockets with more mulla while their staff make minimum wage

  96. Does anyone know if Dunkin' is made fresh or like Tims?

    Personally, I never quite understood what was so good about their coffee. I drink espresso myself and never miss a chance to grab one at an Italian bar.

    I tried a Tims coffee to see what the fuss was all about. My Lord, tasteless, dirty water mixed in with some mud.

  97. No, Starbucks uses battery acid

  98. I hate their coffee! It is very weak. McDonald and A&W have better coffee!

  99. I agree with you – its terrible coffee. As for those stupid lids that pop up and hit you on the nose, thats enough of a reason to drink STARBUCKS.

    • Mike, I couldn't make up my mind on whether to give thumbs up or down to your comment, so decided to write a comment instead. Agreed completely with the lids comment: hate them. However, there's no excuse for drinking Starbucks… it's criminal that they call that coffee…

  100. Anything that is frozen and then re-heated in any way, as opposed to being baked from scratch, is by definition not fresh, as we usually understand that term. If "always fresh" means "never stale," then it's not false advertising. However, everyone understands that "always fresh" means both "baked from scratch" and also "never stale." It is true that their coffee is always fresh if, as they claim, a new batch is made every 20 minutes. But fresh coffee is not necessarily good coffee, and Tim's coffee is not good.

    Since I've been eating Tim's muffins since the chain first began, I can vouch for the fact that they are significantly smaller than they were even a few years ago. At that time they were vastly overflowing the paper cup. Now they go just somewhat beyond the edge of the paper. This is typical of the modern trend to downsize the product and keep the price the same or even make it higher. So Tim's people are crooks, but run-of-the-mill crooks, just like other companies.

    One needn't go to rip-off-Starbuck's to get a good cup of coffee.Try McDonald's coffee (Yes, McDonald' s and no, I have no connection whatsoever to them) and you'll discover (or remember) what the taste of coffee is really like. Again Tim's has either gone to an inferior grade of coffee or they are watering down the coffee they now use…or both. I defy anyone to taste both McDonald's and Tim's coffee and tell me that Tim's is better. McDonald's coffee is 100% Arabica.That's the best stuff. I defy Tim's to make public what beans they use to make their coffee and how much of it they use per ounce of water. I'm sure the results would be embarrassing.

    The fact is that even if they are selling crap, their drive-through service is incredibly fast. So people grab a coffee and don't really think about whether or not it is any good. As long as it contains caffeine, it is fine. And going to Tim's is a habit. The fact is that you are getting the crap you are getting because a vast amount of market research has gone into showing that their methods make the biggest profit, if not for the franchisee, then for the corporation. These people are not stupid, folks! We are.

  101. I know for a fact that a Tim Hortons make about 120 000$ in sales per month. Judging from the line ups at the the drive thru every morning – it's easy to see that there is big profit to be made in owning a franchise. It's also plain to see that people are addicted to the coffee – very addicted. Why don't they just make Tim Coffee at home?? Anyways, the donuts are really not fresh, leave them in the box till tomorrow and they will be hard as rock. Even when just bought they just taste hard. The coffee is awful, tastes so strong. It's unfortunate that money rules everything, quality and service are just not important to anyone anymore.

  102. Ron Joyce is basically jealous that Paul House was highly successful at building the business and supporting his franchisees. They didn't make the transition to par baking without the support of the vast majority of franchisees. So this is really about Ron and a few of his buds with nothing better to do. Hope it is thrown out quickly.

  103. I agree I don't know when it changed….but I don't buy it anymore as it tastes bland. I have switched to steeped tea.

  104. how could crap water be passed off as coffee for sooo long and make profit at it, amazing and I wish the general public would be a little more adventurous and try other chains for a change.

  105. I live in Brantford where Maidstone is located and it make,s me sick to
    even think of buying a par baked donut, how can they call their products fresh in B.C. or the East Coast provinces when their goods
    come,s from Ontario, people remember when you ordered a Dutchy
    you got real chunks of apple and boy they were huge, now they are half the size and cost more, and as far as the apple its a simulated product in which some day the health department may say causes cancer, who knows. Tim Hortons forgot us the
    consumers the one,s who made it what it is today, but not me I quit I refuse to eat food
    owed by a swiss company (Maidstone) greed will kill them I hope
    till then try a smaller chain heck you have your choice of blend there
    and their fresh donuts.

    • Wow… I wish I saw this 2 years ago so I could correct you. I actually work at Maidstone and believe me we do use real apples. Thousands of pounds of them. I’d like to query where exactly you got your information from.

  106. No, there are plenty of people who think the only coffee worth drinking is so strong it will eat your guts on the way through. Turkish Coffee, Moroccan, etc. are all like Starbucks, Second Cup et al and should do for you just fine.

    For the rest of, (read: real people who don't like paying for crap) the choice is Tim's, which makes fine coffee, just the way we like it. *Yawn.* On my way there now….

  107. I think they should be forced to remove the "Always Fresh" from their media, is that not false advertising???? considering this crap they try to pass off as fresh tastes nothing like it did when everything was baked in store!!!

  108. The frozen donut is a horrid invention, the nadir of baked goods. I tried them and can't stomach the over priced scrawny offering. The very claim that they are "Always Fresh" should be legally challenged. During the changeover I wrote to the Toronto Sun's Gary Dunford and he did a whole column plus reader follow up on the new apple fritter, a "squared and planed raisonless dutchie impregnated with applesauce". Krispy Kreme has stumbled, but Dunkin Donuts is in Quebec and I would love to see them here. If you want a good coffee Shell convenience stores, I'm not kidding, have a surprising product. The only knock, it's actually more expensive than Horton's. The drive thrus are the laziest, stupidest thing too, a waste of good fuel, but they do keep smokers from having to butt out.

  109. Haven't had one of Tim's "donuts" since trying one just after the introduction of the frozen product. Simply a sad excuse for what once was a pretty decent product?

  110. it's not just the doughnuts either, this par bake system is taking over all the products. Next on the hit list are the muffins

    • The par bake or flash frozen process is used in the making of the donuts and the muffins.

  111. I have worked for the company for more than 15 years. We used to have bakers mix water with bags of flavor and then fry them off. This is the "real baking" you all speak of. The baker would come in at midnight and bake donuts that could be on the shelves 18-24 hours later. I supose this is the "fresh baked" aspect you all speak of? Now we have to have a minimum of 16-17 hours of baking at a store per day your donut is never more than a few hours old. It is not cheaper. The bakers at my store are paid less per hour but they are making the same per week. Also, the only reason baker prefer the "old" way is because they made decent money in about 4 hours with little if any supervision. It is alot more work now.

    • Furthermore, if your boss told you that you were going to be making thousands less a year would you sit back and take it? I would not.

  112. Anyone know what's happened to the hearing on the lawsuit? it was supposed to happen in November, but there's not a hint of news about it anywhere, not even in yesterday's quarterly stock updates.

    I'm very curious. Was it settled out of court? Was is there NO news at all about this important lawsuit?

  113. I purchased a large coffee last week and under the roll up the rim there was absolutely nothing written under it? I have been in touch by e-mail to Tim Hortons about this false advertising and have heard not one word from them. I find this very rude on their part, my family spends approx. $50 per week on coffee and we get NOTHING under the rim but try again, but to get not even that or even a chance to win something I find this unacceptable.

  114. I go to Timmie's because there are not enough Coffee Times around and those that are are to far away. It is simply put a matter of convenience,I agree the fresh frozen preheated donuts,muffins,croissants and the rest are cardboard but there Chili is so good on a cold winters day (then again anything warm would be nice) I have had the displeasure of the breakfast wrap? Probably better if actually cooked? No comparison to Starbucks as I find Starbucks for lack of better wording *GROSS* no matter the blend. I DO agree MacDonald hit it on the head,there coffee is 10 out of 10 tastes like real roasted as coffee should. alas Timmie's does the advertising thus bringing in the rag tagged to those that think they are better than everyone else except when under the Timmie Dome.
    Is Timmie's truly a Canadian entity? I doubt it very much,It has however over the years become a Tradition and to some almost a Religion… I actually enjoy the corner store coffee more fist thing in the morning! A REAL eyeopener ;)
    If I may add Timmie's 20 years ago just one word Awesome,now is just a convenience… ho hum sip

  115. Tim's Donuts are not donuts if they are frozen then baked a real donut is made fresh and then fried thats a true donut also there coffee is never consistent one day haas to little sugar the next to much cream or to much of each dont they have automated cream and sugar dispensers to reduce waste from free pouring of milk and cream and using the spoon to add the sugar like back in the good days. obviously it doesnt work with the new technolgy the have, so they should just go back to the old ways with all the products because it all tasted better and no complaints.

  116. no one has mentioned that Tims is owned by Wendys……

  117. lol thats sounds about right

  118. well good morning all,its not the same any more.no need for a baker/decorator.my bro has been a baker a tims for 16 long years ,guess what he makes less now that he made back then yea hes finally over 10 dollars an hour WOW,thanks ontario for the minimum wages.lids are screwed,staff sucks,line ups are pathetic PAY YOUR BAKERS a desent wage 15.00

  119. I am a tim horton worker and i can honestly say i HATE my job. Managers and district managers treat staff like there nothing. They dont listen to staff and only care about there bonus they get. They reward the "bad " staff with raises and special gifts and get pretty much whatever they want. As staff we are only allowed two medium coffees and thats only if we work more than 5 hours. If managers are having a bad day the store suffers. I want to leave my job but with the workforce the way it is right now theres nothing out there and i've been looking and applying everywhere.

  120. Personally I love the coffee. I think the doughnuts taste like chalk tho. But is it too much for me to ask for a PROPERLY STIRRED COFFEE?!?!(that doesn't leak) I order a 4×4 and it seriously pisses my off that they don't know how to stir in the sugar…. even when i ask them nicely for a well stirred one.Ugh!!

  121. As a former long time Tim Hortons employee I watched that company go right down in it's "Quality". All the great Canadian aspects that we all grew to love about it are all since gone from that company….too bad. There product is just aful now!!!

  122. All that seems to matter at Tim's is cheap and fast without any care for their employees. I refuse to pay them a dime and their coffee is crap.

  123. I always check for the red neon sign when I drive by ….. =) Now that is a donut!!!

  124. yes, and his comes from a company which serves children processed frozen foods. good information though.

  125. Baker….your not a Baker, your a micro waver. Just because you throw a tray of flash frozen product in to be heated does not a baker make. A deceased friend of mine WAS a TH baker and he went home with flour and dough on his uniform and was well paid for his craft. P.S. Always fresh is a lie, and it’s not common sense, and it’s a betrayal to the customer. FRESH MEANS MADE FROM SCRATCH IN THE STORE!!!!! Not a Brampton factory where it’s flash frozen, then you nuke it. Tim Horton’s donuts suck. I used to buy 400 donuts every Sunday for a coffee and donuts group, and when Tim changed to frozen donuts they all told me to “stop buying them”, and “find some other donuts that taste good”.  Timmy chose to take what they thought was the cheap path, and now it’s costing them double to nuke the frozen donuts. Go back to the real way of making the donuts Always Fresh. Not always frozen. If you think Always Fresh means FRESH then you never had a grandmother that made homemade fresh baked goods. Have a nice dinner tonight eating your frozen TV dinner….I mean your fresh TV dinner. 
    Common sense isn’t always common.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *