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Tim Hortons announces C$80 million investment in Back to Basics plan and digital experience

Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons has announced an C$80 million (about US$64million) corporate investment to supercharge advertising expenses, highlight menu improvements in product quality, and support continued enhancements in the digital guest experience.

Tim Hortons recently launched three new quality upgrades to its menu as part of its Back to Basics plan, including a new dark roast coffee, Craveables lunch sandwiches, and freshly cracked Canadian eggs in breakfast sandwiches. Part of the corporate investment will support awareness of these launches and additional menu quality initiatives planned for 2021.

“Despite the disruptions from COVID, our team maintained focus throughout 2020 and has delivered three consecutive product launches with encouraging early results, contributing positively to our sales. Our new dark roast coffee has received a higher guest rating than any of our previous recipes; our affordable, Craveables lunch platform – with the roast beef and crispy chicken sandwich is receiving great feedback; and we are seeing meaningful sales contributions from our nationwide launch of freshly cracked, Canadian eggs in our breakfast sandwiches,” says Axel Schwan, President of Tim Hortons.

“We are also seeing strong progress in digital with the adoption, usage and increasing level of guest engagement on our Tim’s Rewards program and app. In addition, we are continuing to work hard on improving personalised offers on the app and are rolling out predictive selling on our drive-thru menu boards across the country this year. This is all part of our goal to provide Canada’s best in class digital guest experience.”

The Tim Hortons mobile app in Canada has seen monthly active users grow approximately five-fold since 2018 and about one-third of all Canadian adults have used the Tims Rewards loyalty program in the last 18 months. The investment will support the Tims Rewards loyalty program and other strategic digital initiatives to continue building the digital experience.

This investment in 2021 will also provide a substantial increase in overall advertising throughout the balance of the year – all intended to highlight taste and quality, value for money, and strengthen the connection Canadians have with the brand.

“When it comes to our brand perception overall, we continue to see improvements – guest satisfaction has grown significantly driven by simplifying and improving the quality of our menu items plus guests are experiencing faster speeds of service,” says Schwan.

“Community contributions by so many of our restaurant owners, bolstered by our branded coffee trucks travelling Canada and supporting front line workers with free coffee and baked goods also had a key role in driving continued improvements in overall brand perception.”

In addition to the C$80 million corporate investment, advertising contributions from restaurant owners in Canada will be increasing by 0.5 per cent of sales to historical levels permitted under the current contracts, leading to a sustained, increased level of investment in advertising, community, and digital initiatives in 2022 and beyond.

“The efforts behind our Back to Basics plan are starting to deliver results. The plan focuses on building an experienced, talented and stable leadership team, investing in product quality, becoming an industry leader in the digital guest experience, delivering great value for money, and continuing to build our strong, iconic brand in communities across Canad,” says Jose Cil, Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons.

“With an exceptional leadership team now at the helm, early successes in our digital journey and encouraging results from our investments in product quality, we are confident the business is heading in the right direction. Our investment today reflects that confidence and our optimism in the plan.”

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