What Canadians really think about Tim Hortons

Picture of a sign with the logo of Tim Hortons on their main cafe for North Ottawa, Canada. (Getty)

On February 26, Tim Hortons will be rolling out its revamped rewards program, in response to disappointing quarterly results announced earlier this month.

The move, coupled with the revamped Roll Up the Rim contest, are both the latest changes by the cafe chain to reconnect with some of its customers and improve its bottom line.

Yahoo Canada asked readers if they were happy with Tim Hortons, and at the time of writing, 90 per cent of readers who voted selected ‘No.’

We also asked our Facebook followers to share their thoughts as well, and while it was a smaller majority, users still said they were not happy with Tim Hortons.


When asked what they would like to see changed at the restaurants, the top three changes selected were “Bake products in store” (26 per cent), “Become a privately-owned Canadian company” (21 per cent) and “Cut back on the number of menu items offered” (19 per cent).

In the comments on Yahoo Canada and on Facebook, users shared in detail how they’d like to see the restaurant change transformed.

Bake products in store

“Unless they go back to making real donuts and the way it was when it first started nothing will make me go back as a regular customer.” — elly

“Timmies needs to truly get back to basics, which means the same coffee that made them famous with the same in-house baked goods. That and keep the Roll-Up-The-Rim-To-Win just as it was. They've veered off course and the results speak for themselves.” — bigrob

“need to make donuts fresh in store. You can get better quality doughnuts from a convenience store” — David

“go back to how it was in the 1970's ..great coffee and plenty of Donut selection....that's what made Tim Hortons GREAT.” — Sharon Tyhaar

“How about improving the quality of your coffee and food” — Ashlee

“Return to making deep fried donuts, they had taste. I do not buy a doughnut to worry about my caloric intake. All of the ones I tried from the changeover wa back were tasteless so now when I visit Timmy's it is coffee only.” — ROBERT

“they lost me when they started with frozen donuts instead of fresh baked, coffee seem better when the donuts were good. companies only care about one thing these days and that's how to squeeze that last 1/10 of a cent from millions of people, instead of focusing on what made them successful in the first place.” — Steve

Become a privately-owned Canadian company

“timmies has gone down hill on roller skate as the US investment fund that owns them runs it into the ground to extract profits over service and quality!
step 1= return to Canadian ownership
2= return to in-store baking
3= return to a good Canadian coffee blend, not the American c—p that they serve now
I was a daily customer until the changed, haven't been there more that once a month since.” — Steve

Editor’s note: Tim Hortons’ coffee processing facility is located in Ancaster, Ont. and uses a blend of coffee beans from several countries in South and Central America.

“This one's easy, , it's a simple 2 step plan. 1- get a list of everything RBI did since taking over and roll it back. 2- and this is key, either get your staff to act like your commercials or edit them to represent the actual service you give. Good luck :D” — Andre

“What once was a good coffee shop was totally spoiled by modernization and foreign ownership that wanted to change things, just because they could.” — AnotherDay

“Tim's, Shoppers, #$%$ Tire, The Bay, Loblaws, they all lost their way when investors took over and the primary concern became shareholder return and growth. That's what led to the decline in quality and silly things like #$%$ Tire selling milk, Shoppers selling TVs, Tim's selling meatless burgers. People don't care about growth, people care that you do what you do and do it well.” — Mike

“This is what happens when you have an American bean counter company at the helm. They care more about the bottom line than the quality they offer their customers. looking at the specialty donuts they offered last year leads me to think they do not understand the Canadian market. It’s very sad to see such an iconic Canadian brand being run so poorly.” — Roseline Caron

Cut back on the number of menu items offered

“Dear Tims,
Focus on trying to make good coffee and fresh baked goods only
Ditch the other 100 menu items introduced weekly
Keep Roll up the Rim on the actual cups and introduce more prizes and make the cups 100% recyclable
There you have a winning and profitable business model. You're welcome” — bob

“Go back to being a coffee shop/bakery. Quit trying to serve every product every other fast food chain sells. I'm surprised timmies hasn't started selling burgers yet ;D” — Shane

“Maybe the company should go back to what made Tim's successful in the first place. Freshly fried doughnuts, and baked muffins made from scratch in the stores, decent coffee. Food items such as burgers are best left to those franchises like Harvey's. If Tim's wants to include sandwiches on its menu then forget about the "exotic" ones and go back to the basic ones that were initially offered on the menu. As for the coffee it's time Tim's changed their supplier.” — Elaine