Is Canada losing its love for Tim Hortons?

One-third of Canadians say they think less of the franchise, poll says

A brewing conflict between Tim Hortons franchisees and its foreign-owned parent company is curdling public opinion of Canada’s iconic coffee and donut chain, according to a new nationwide poll.

The Angus Reid Institute survey, released Tuesday, suggests one in three Tim Hortons customers feels worse about the company, especially when considering changes over the past five years.

The poll suggests the quality of food, coffee and service, as well as the prices, has declined rather than improved.

However, people haven’t necessarily switched to another chain, the survey said, with 33 per cent of people remaining weekly customers and 29 per cent saying they still stop by at least once a month.

The poll came out days after the federal government announced it would investigate allegations that Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International failed to live up to promises made under the Investment Canada Act in 2014.

That’s not the only reason the restaurant chain has been in the news.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

READ MORE: ‘Hold the sugar, hold the cream, Tim Hortons don’t be mean,’ protesters chant

Tim Hortons faced intense criticism after two Cobourg, Ont., franchises moved to offset Ontario’s minimum wage hike by cutting paid breaks and forcing workers to cover a bigger share of their benefits.

It sparked a national day of action and rallies outside some of the 4,000 restaurants across the country.

Tensions flared again in February when Great White North Franchisee Association, a group representing at least half of Tim Hortons franchisees, threatened legal action against the company because cash register kept going down.

The association has also accused the company of intimidation after it allegedly denied a franchisee a licence renewal for one of his two Tim’s locations, after they alleged improper use of a $700-million national advertising fund.

Still part of Canadian culture

For all that, Tim Hortons remains as Canadian as hockey or maple syrup – an opinion shared amongst the millennial crowd in particular, the poll suggests.

Forty-four per cent of Canadians between 18 and 24 years old are more likely to view Tim Hortons as an important part of the national culture.

Older age groups are more likely to say Tim Hortons has nothing to do with being Canadian, and about 28 per cent say they’re less inclined to see the company as anything more than a business.

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hot Royals down Tritons to stay unbeaten

Strong pitching helps senior Royals to an impressive 6-0 start in 2018 BCPBL season

Parksville-Qualicum MLA questions minister over homeless housing project

Stilwell seeks clarification in response to community opposition

Emergency preparedness expo coming to Qualicum Beach Saturday

Experience an 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Shake Zone simulator

Parksville author reeling in reluctant readers

Jocelyn Shipley’s latest book meant to engage teens who don’t yet love to read

Qualicum Beach rain garden receives award

Green project honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board awards

Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers showcase project on Earth Day

Viewing platform, gathering circle dedicated to environmental champion

Parksville resident interrupts break and enter

Two reported break and entries on Gaetjen Street

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

Charges follow collisions between pickup and police vehicles in Nanaimo

Majore Jackson, 32, and Andrew John Bellwood, 47, from Nanaimo, face numerous charges

Most Read