Double double trouble

Canadian students demand better access to Tim Hortons

An Edmonton Tim Hortons (markyeg/Flickr)

From the 2013 Student Issue on sale now.

After polling his peers last fall, Adam Oran, who represents Human Kinetics students for the University of Windsor Student Alliance, knew which policy to pursue. He started a Facebook page called “Lets Get a Timmies in HK,” referring to their building, a 15-minute walk from the nearest Tim Hortons coffee outlet.

Within a week, 150 people liked the page; by February, 390 had joined. Talks with campus officials are now under way, says Oran. When constituents stop to ask how their Tim’s is coming, he’s proud to report that management has been receptive.

Oran wasn’t the first to make such a petition. A Facebook page demanding a better Tim Hortons for Mount Royal University in Calgary in 2010 noted long lines and lack of variety at the campus kiosk. The page got more than 700 likes by the time Brent Mann, general manager for the school’s food-service provider, Sodexo, posed for photos for the school newspaper with a shovel in hand, turning the sod on the bigger and better location.

And when Notesolution, a company that facilitates the online sharing of lecture notes, asked Canadian students about their pet peeves on its blog last year, the length of the Tim’s line was mentioned by one out of every eight respondents.

Long queues are still a common complaint, says Mann, even though the new location is operating at capacity. “We have 2,000 customers a day at our store here,” he says. “We strategize every single day as to how to get them through quicker.”

Other schools have found high-tech ways to keep the lines moving. At Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., an old security camera was trained on the Tim Hortons lineup last fall and now anyone on campus can log in to a website to see it. Jordan Borneman, president of the school’s students’ union, times his visits from his office on the third floor for when the lineup is shortest.

Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ont., has had a camera trained on the Tim’s line in the student centre for at least four years, says Ciara Byrne, president of the student board of directors. “I always check the Timmy’s Cam.”

Double double trouble

  1. I think another Timmies issue that needs to be addressed is the lack of payment options available on campuses. I’m not sure about other schools, but at the University of Waterloo, Tim Hortons only accepts cash or student cards, no debit, credit or Tims card. As a student in the 21st century, I tend to use my debit card more often than cash and I know many others who feel the same way. I’m often not able to buy my morning coffee because I forgot to go out and get cash the night before. It’s terribly inconvenient and Tim Hortons definitely loses business because of it.

    • Yeesh, is it really that difficult to carry a small amount of cash to avoid having to use a debit card to pay for a $1.50 coffee? It’s not as if UW is so isolated that there aren’t ATMs around either.

      Otherwise, students would be well advised to brew coffee at home and take it with for at least two reasons: 1) this saves a considerable amount of money; 2) this avoids having to drink awful Tim’s coffee.

    • Yeah, that seems to be just your school. Carleton University Timmies accepts debit and credit all around campus.

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