the burger king deal could get tim hortons passed customs and into the global market

As many of you have heard, Burger King is setting up a deal to take over Tim Hortons for $94 a share. I began to realize that this was true when the picture of a bunch of Tim Hortons Timbits were sandwiched by two burger buns, almost looking like a falafel burger (which didn’t actually seem like a bad idea, until I realized it was Timbits instead). But what does this deal mean for each company? More specifically, what does this mean for Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee company that the Canadian citizens hold so dear?

The deal is set to benefit each company in separate ways. For Burger King, it seems like they are going after the breakfast market, which, in the United States, Dunkin’ Donuts has a strong hold over. For the purpose of this blog, I won’t really be focusing on Burger King. What I’m more concerned about is how this will affect Tim Hortons.

Tim Hortons has a very big interest in this deal. This deal would push them into becoming more of a global brand, competing with the other global companies that already have deep roots in their locations. Tim Hortons has had great success here in Canada due to their convenient locations, affordable prices, and its Canadian identity.

I consider Tim Hortons to be the perfect ‘to-go’ coffee; There’s many locations nearby, the workers make the coffee for me, the process is ridiculously easy. If I go to Starbucks, especially if I’m buying for three people, it’s tough to make all three coffees specifically the way each person wants. I mean, does anyone really have time for that? However, Tim Hortons doesn’t provide the same atmosphere that Starbucks does, nor does it provide the quality of coffee that Starbucks would.

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So let’s take a second and think, how would Tim Hortons do globally, especially in the European countries where Starbucks, Costa, and Café Nero are dominating. Well, let’s look at some foreign Tim Hortons establishments, like the ones in Michigan. Many of my friends and I have had both Michigan Tim Hortons and Canadian Tim Hortons, and we both feel the quality of coffee is not the same (which is ironic for a brand that doesn’t rely on premium quality coffee). The cup design, however, is far better in Michigan than it is in Toronto (and my car cup holders, as well as all my clothes, can testify to that too). The baked goods weren’t as good either in Michigan than they were in Toronto. Overall, I’d rather go to an American coffee shop than go to a Tim Hortons in America.

Even though the above is based off my own personal opinions, it’s important to know that I drink Tim Hortons almost everyday. Actually, I drink it everyday. The coffee market is a tough market to break, and many coffee stores have had to play with other factors in order to get people into their stores. Starbucks had to create a culture behind their stores, and offer a variety of incentives to their coffee. The culture behind the coffee is what really brings it, and the atmosphere of the store is what really brings customers through the door.

I’m not sure how Tim Hortons would fare against the giant coffee corporations if they consider going global, but I can definitely say it’ll be tough. Can Tim Hortons bring the culture it has made so popular in Canada and make it as appealing in other countries? Only time will tell. If they do go into the global market, I can only wish them the best.

Image originally from CBC
David Donnelly/CBC

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