The boss of Tim Hortons in the UK says the company’s current strategic remit is “all about expansion” as it looks to gain coverage in more parts of the country.
The Canadian operator is now up to almost 60 sites in the UK following a slew of kitchen roll-outs, and hopes to reach between 75 and 80 restaurants before the year is out.
“We are opening a significant volume of outlets throughout the course of this year,” chief commercial officer Kevin Hydes told FEJ. “We are also focusing not just on expansion this year but expansion in future years, particularly with drive-thru sites.
“Typically, if we like a site then it is an 18-month to two-year process to opening due to the planning permission. It is worth the wait but it means we have to work way in advance.
“Right now we are working on the 2023, 2024 and 2025 pipeline of growth. If we are going to be a nationwide brand and a leader in the market place we have to have the outlets that are going to fulfil that goal.”
Tim Hortons recently launched its first site in London and more are expected to follow.
Asked if there are any key locations where it hasn’t yet got a presence but would like to expand to at some stage, Mr Hydes said: “We are not in Edinburgh, we are not in Norwich, we are opening in Plymouth in a few weeks’ time, which I think is a really great opportunity for the brand. We recently opened in Ipswich, so we are hitting some of the major towns and cities.
“And we have just opened a site in Dunstable, which is quite close to Luton, and there is a big community of people there that are huge Tim Hortons followers. I would say that by the end of the year we will have started to tick off the majority of the major towns and cities, with a few outliers to go.”
Mr Hydes believes that Tim Hortons can offer something unique for guests given the way that it blends a traditional coffee shop proposition with the key aspects of a QSR.
“I would describe it as the best of quick service restaurant from a food preparation perspective – freshly-prepared product range across breakfast, lunch and evening – coupled with the best of coffee shop. Our freshly-brewed coffee and espresso blends are fantastic and stand up well against competition.
“We have got an amazing range of hot and cold beverages that consumers love – distinctive, unique products like our French vanilla, a real amazing hot chocolate product for the winter and our Iced Capps, fruit coolers and Tim Shakes for the summer. What we add to that is fresh bakery production on-site. Each donut is freshly prepared, handmade and decorated throughout the course of the day.”