Friday, October 24, 2014

Tim Hortons sees room for growth

TORONTO—Tim Hortons Inc. sees significant room for growth in its core Canadian business and plans to add 500 locations in this country and 300 in the United States by 2018.
The restaurant and coffee chain called the plan “ambitious but achievable,” and said today it will allow the company to adapt to changing consumer needs and fight for a spot in a highly-competitive market.

Tim Hortons’ plan includes a big focus on Canada, where it’s seeking to improve customers’ experience at its stores and make better use of technology to better understand and serve connected consumers.
“We believe that our enviable guest loyalty, strong restaurant base, and differentiated brand position, coupled with initiatives planned in our strategic plan, will present significant opportunities to grow our Canadian business over the next five years,” said chief executive Marc Caira.
But the company also is “energizing the Tim Hortons brand in all of our geographic markets and we are focusing on driving long-term, sustainable, profitable growth which we believe will return us to above-market total return to shareholders,” he added.
The plan, announced ahead of an investors’ day event, will look at incorporating healthy menu options into the chain’s lineup and package its products in different ways to increase the number of items customers purchase each time they get to the register.
It also will look to extend its brand reach through new restaurant formats and sizes that target specific locations, such as offices, sports venues, and hospitals, and find ways to tap into the millennial market.
“We also see opportunity, working together with our restaurant owners, to go beyond our restaurant footprint in alternative channels,” the company said.
The strategy is similar in the U.S., where it also will embark on a new push to drive brand awareness and develop more franchises.
“We expect this multi-layered, disciplined approach to developing our U.S. business will result in substantial progress in the U.S. segment and U.S. operating income of up to $50 million by 2018,” the company said.
Its international approach will be “pragmatic and disciplined,” and seek further expansion in the Persian Gulf region, where it has had initial success, and has a road map for adding about 220 locations in that area over the same period.
The changes come after Tim Hortons said last week it was pulling the Cold Stone Creamery brand from its Canadian restaurants, and removing about two dozen items from the menu to simplify its operations, as it tries to make its service faster and the customer experience easier to boost profits.

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