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lenaitch

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The series of On Route stops along the highway system pretty much monopolized the coffee scene for Tims for those long distance drives. The rare Starbucks I can think of is the one they share on site at Webers on Hwy 11 which they opened in recent years.

Admittedly I'm a Webers goer whenever I head up that way. Although I did go off the beaten path this past summer and found a nice BBQ place called "The Shack" and coffee shop, Cafe Seoulista in Orillia.

Some of the Enroute locations have Starbucks. "Getting off the beaten path" isn't what people normally do now; fast in-and-out. There are all sorts of mom-and pops" in towns along the way but you have to search them out. Back in the day when travel was slower, the 'Weber's of the day' travel break was a sit-down meal at the old Sundial in Orillia or Haugen's on Hwy 12 near Port Perry (although it is still popular).

Keep in mind too that when Tim's was founded your bougie coffees like your Caramel Machiatto, your Strawberry Frappuccino and your No Fat, No whip, PSL never existed.

Back in the 60s and 70s you went for coffee and donuts. Thats it. Your coffee had milk and sugar nothing more. It wasn't fancy but it worked.

Tim's cant keep up because it was not their core business model. The public perception is that they are solely a coffee and donuts store. They have a monopoly in the rural areas because Starbucks cannot compete there. The business model for Starbucks is such that they need fresh product often which is not something you can do in Iqaluit, Yellowknife or Saskatoon. Imagine what those fancy drinks would cost in Yellowknife?

My point is Starbucks style drinks are what people want now and despite a feeble attempt to compete Tim's cant keep up. Iced Cappuccinos were just a stop gap. They cannot compare to the drinks starbucks has.

Perhaps moreso in urban areas. Small towns are less discerning; coffee.
 

thettctransitfanatic

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Some of the Enroute locations have Starbucks. "Getting off the beaten path" isn't what people normally do now; fast in-and-out. There are all sorts of mom-and pops" in towns along the way but you have to search them out. Back in the day when travel was slower, the 'Weber's of the day' travel break was a sit-down meal at the old Sundial in Orillia or Haugen's on Hwy 12 near Port Perry (although it is still popular).



Perhaps moreso in urban areas. Small towns are less discerning; coffee.

The last part is very true. People in small town don't care. They'll take any coffee. But people here in the city do, and Tims and RBI haven't been able to keep up with trends. In a way it's almost like Sears. They've done it with Burger King so how they haven't been able to do it with Tims... I'm not sure
 

Northern Light

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The last part is very true. People in small town don't care. They'll take any coffee. But people here in the city do, and Tims and RBI haven't been able to keep up with trends. In a way it's almost like Sears. They've done it with Burger King so how they haven't been able to do it with Tims... I'm not sure

What is it you think they've done with Burger King?

Its still crap, really.

What they did from a business perspective was extract costs, which is what 3G capital does.

They've done that to Tim's too; and probably to their detriment. That caused a lot of conflict w/franchisees and that resulted in litigation.

With Burger King they didn't have (and still don't) the same degree of loyalty and fond brand association as historically existed with Tim's. Just a different animal.

They also slashed and burned Tim's head office in the takeover, the cuts were massive, on top of which they moved the HQ from Oakville to Toronto.

The latter move wasn't a bad one, but they lost a lot of institutional memory.

Also BK never had a dominant market share in the U.S. the way Tim's does in Canada. Upside potential here was always more limited (how much more than 70% of the coffee market can you corner?) Whereas the downside
potential is large.

The prospect in the Tim's takeover from 3G's perspective was surely cost-cutting {their raison-d'etre) and the potential of international expansion. Whether the latter has legs is TBD.

Back to BK for a moment, most of their sales increase in the last while has been driven by movie-tie ins (marketing to kids) and a few select product promos........nothing revolutionary.

But sales at BK are still well below Tim's on a per location basis.
 
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Jonny5

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This rings true with respect to the service from my experience downtown.

If I am desperate in the late afternoon to quickly get something, anything, to eat as a snack I consider going to the Tim Hortons in the concourse of the office tower where I work. It's a one minute trip. The problem is that whether there's a line of ten, or a line of two, service is horribly slow and abysmally bad. The staffing problem issue is obvious. Outside of rush hour they are all directed to do other tasks rather than serve like clean up, or prepare to shut down, unless absolutely necessary. So a line of two will quickly form to a line of ten because only one of the four staff are actually taking and making orders. They will slowly ramp up until they have all staff working up front and the line collapses to nothing, then all but one goes back to doing other stuff. Then the giant line then forms again. Repeat this process all afternoon until 5:00 p.m. when they close.
If I only have an absolute maximum of say ten minutes for a break I am not showing up there with no idea if it will be 60 seconds to have my order placed, or six minutes.

This doesn't happen at McCafe so I will go there, even though it is in the building across the street and a three minute walk. The time from arrival to receiving order is shorter and more consistent.

I should note that other obvious offenders copying the Tims customer service model are Shoppers Drug Mart (the ones without self-checkout) and the LCBO. They both have the very obvious lines constantly flipping back and forth from giant to nothing all day because no staff are actual dedicated cashiers.
 
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Richard White

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This rings true with respect to the service from my experience downtown.

If I am desperate in the late afternoon to quickly get something, anything, to eat as a snack I consider going to the Tim Hortons in the concourse of the office tower where I work. It's a one minute trip. The problem is that whether there's a line of ten, or a line of two, service is horribly slow and abysmally bad. They staffing issue is obvious. Outside of rush hour they are directed to do other tasks than serve, like clean up, or prepare to shut down, unless absolutely necessary. So a line of two will quickly form to a line of ten because only one of the four staff are actually taking and making orders. This will then slowly ramp up until they have all of them working and the line collapses to nothing and then they go back to doing other stuff. Then the giant line formas again. Repeat until 4:00 p.m. when they close. When you have only a10 minutes for a break, why show up when you have no idea if it will be 60 seconds to have your order placed, or six minutes.

This doesn't happen at McCafe.

It's why I go to Starbucks. I can be in and out in 5 minutes versus Tim's where I've spent 10.
 

Admiral Beez

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It's why I go to Starbucks. I can be in and out in 5 minutes versus Tim's where I've spent 10.
I miss the Starbucks that closed in Cabbagetown. Yesterday out on a walk with the family I popped into the Timmies at Parliament and Winchester for a coffee and some tim bits. Jes#s, the sea of humanity sitting in there loitering (few had any food or coffee visible) makes the Star Wars cantina seem civilized. Line-up was massive and I can never find a damn staff who speaks and understands clear English, and then they have almost no tim bits and mostly empty shelves, and lastly the coffee was, as I then remembered as always, terrible unless flavoured with cow squeezings and sugar.

Before it closed, Cabbagetown's Starbucks was the best. Rarely a line-up, no rollies/roach porch pirate types, coherent, fluent staff and a good product. Damn, Timmies, you're no Starbucks.
 

thettctransitfanatic

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What is it you think they've done with Burger King?

Its still crap, really.

What they did from a business perspective was extract costs, which is what 3G capital does.

They've done that to Tim's too; and probably to their detriment. That caused a lot of conflict w/franchisees and that resulted in litigation.

With Burger King they didn't have (and still don't) the same degree of loyalty and fond brand association as historically existed with Tim's. Just a different animal.

They also slashed and burned Tim's head office in the takeover, the cuts were massive, on top of which they moved the HQ from Oakville to Toronto.

The latter move wasn't a bad one, but they lost a lot of institutional memory.

Also BK never had a dominant market share in the U.S. the way Tim's does in Canada. Upside potential here was always more limited (how much more than 70% of the coffee market can you corner?) Whereas the downside
potential is large.

The prospect in the Tim's takeover from 3G's perspective was surely cost-cutting {their raison-d'etre) and the potential of international expansion. Whether the latter has legs is TBD.

Back to BK for a moment, most of their sales increase in the last while has been driven by movie-tie ins (marketing to kids) and a few select product promos........nothing revolutionary.

But sales at BK are still well below Tim's on a per location basis.

That's true, Tims had a large cult following. But I still feel like whenever RBI took over is when a lot of the decline happened with Tims
 

WislaHD

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I miss the Starbucks that closed in Cabbagetown. Yesterday out on a walk with the family I popped into the Timmies at Parliament and Winchester for a coffee and some tim bits. Jes#s, the sea of humanity sitting in there loitering (few had any food or coffee visible) makes the Star Wars cantina seem civilized. Line-up was massive and I can never find a damn staff who speaks and understands clear English, and then they have almost no tim bits and mostly empty shelves, and lastly the coffee was, as I then remembered as always, terrible unless flavoured with cow squeezings and sugar.

Before it closed, Cabbagetown's Starbucks was the best. Rarely a line-up, no rollies/roach porch pirate types, coherent, fluent staff and a good product. Damn, Timmies, you're no Starbucks.
I am always sad when I am caught on Bloor Street in the Starbucks desert that is between Bathurst and Dufferin.
 

mjl08

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I would love if a chain like Country Style or Robins could compete and offer fresher, baked-on-site donuts and coffee.
 

WislaHD

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I wish we had Costa in Canada. I actually liked them when I was in England
Likewise when I was in mainland Europe this summer.

Though they reminded me a lot of Second Cup, which is another chain which I think is criminally underrated in urban Canada. If given the choice between Second Cup and Starbucks at a location, I actually prefer Second Cup.
 

Admiral Beez

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Likewise when I was in mainland Europe this summer.

Though they reminded me a lot of Second Cup, which is another chain which I think is criminally underrated in urban Canada. If given the choice between Second Cup and Starbucks at a location, I actually prefer Second Cup.
Second Cup's lack of greater growth during this decline of Tim Horton's is IMO the fault of the franchise model. All Starbucks locations are corporately owned, everyone works for head office, and they control every aspect of the customer experience. Second Cup located are tired and inconsistent - do they have an app or loyalty program? What they need is to be acquired and then buy out all the franchises and make it corporate like Starbucks.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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I wish we had Costa in Canada. I actually liked them when I was in England

Costa in UK - good baked goods; meh coffee (meh coffee in UK in general).

That's true, Tims had a large cult following. But I still feel like whenever RBI took over is when a lot of the decline happened with Tims

It was already downhill before it became part of RBI - it just becomes indefensible after that.

Though they reminded me a lot of Second Cup, which is another chain which I think is criminally underrated in urban Canada. If given the choice between Second Cup and Starbucks at a location, I actually prefer Second Cup.

Inconsistent, sometimes surly service, questionable hygiene standards, inconvenience is sinking that ship.

AoD
 
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Neutrino

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Costa in UK - good baked goods; meh coffee (meh coffee in UK in general).

AoD

The McDonald's coffee I had at Piccadilly Circus earlier this year was truly awful. Worse than any I've had anywhere else.
 

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