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

Historic Hat Creek Ranch in state of uncertainty

B.C. government will proceed with public process to seek new site managers for Hat Creek

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Closures for Ashcroft Hospital over long weekend

Hospital will be closed for two shifts from May 18-20

Cache Creek council proposes 10% property tax increase, pool closure

Pool scheduled to close after 2019 season unless a funding source can be found

NHL star Eric Brewer to return to Ashcroft for public event

Olympic gold medallist and former Ashcroft resident comes back to his roots

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read