Is Canada losing its love for Tim Hortons?

One-third of Canadians say they think less of the franchise, poll says

A brewing conflict between Tim Hortons franchisees and its foreign-owned parent company is curdling public opinion of Canada’s iconic coffee and donut chain, according to a new nationwide poll.

The Angus Reid Institute survey, released Tuesday, suggests one in three Tim Hortons customers feels worse about the company, especially when considering changes over the past five years.

The poll suggests the quality of food, coffee and service, as well as the prices, has declined rather than improved.

However, people haven’t necessarily switched to another chain, the survey said, with 33 per cent of people remaining weekly customers and 29 per cent saying they still stop by at least once a month.

The poll came out days after the federal government announced it would investigate allegations that Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International failed to live up to promises made under the Investment Canada Act in 2014.

That’s not the only reason the restaurant chain has been in the news.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

READ MORE: ‘Hold the sugar, hold the cream, Tim Hortons don’t be mean,’ protesters chant

Tim Hortons faced intense criticism after two Cobourg, Ont., franchises moved to offset Ontario’s minimum wage hike by cutting paid breaks and forcing workers to cover a bigger share of their benefits.

It sparked a national day of action and rallies outside some of the 4,000 restaurants across the country.

Tensions flared again in February when Great White North Franchisee Association, a group representing at least half of Tim Hortons franchisees, threatened legal action against the company because cash register kept going down.

The association has also accused the company of intimidation after it allegedly denied a franchisee a licence renewal for one of his two Tim’s locations, after they alleged improper use of a $700-million national advertising fund.

Still part of Canadian culture

For all that, Tim Hortons remains as Canadian as hockey or maple syrup – an opinion shared amongst the millennial crowd in particular, the poll suggests.

Forty-four per cent of Canadians between 18 and 24 years old are more likely to view Tim Hortons as an important part of the national culture.

Older age groups are more likely to say Tim Hortons has nothing to do with being Canadian, and about 28 per cent say they’re less inclined to see the company as anything more than a business.

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de White Rock kicks off

Races take place this evening and tomorrow morning

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

Delta’s OWL Society to pair raptors and yoga

The two-class fundraiser allows participants to do yoga while being watched by birds of prey

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read