When Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme started selling their coffee and donuts in Mexico, the Tim Hortons crowd must have wondered when Canada’s beloved franchise would follow.
Finally, it has happened.
Restaurant Brands International has announced a franchise joint venture with a group of investors in Mexico. Even with 4,492 restaurants in nine countries, this is Tim Hortons’ first voyage into Latin American.
Their statement specified neither a timeline nor a list of what cities in Mexico can expect to see a “Timmy’s,” as the chair is affectionately known.
“We are continuing to build on our commitment of taking the Tim Hortons brand and Canada’s favorite coffee around the world,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International. “Mexico has a thriving coffee market so we are very optimistic about the opportunity to grow the brand across the country.”
“Our partners have a deep understanding of the food service industry in Mexico, which we believe will serve them well in growing the brand in the region and delivering an excellent experience for all our guests,” said Tim Hortons President Elías Díaz Sesé.
Spanish-born Díaz Sesé is a roll-out veteran, having done the same for Burger King in recent years. In September, Tim Hortons announced an expansion into United Kingdom after already disclosing plans to open locations in the Philippines.
Tim Hortons opened its first restaurant in Canada in 1964 and in the U.S. in 1984. The bond between the chain and Canadians, blue-collar customers in particular, is strong.
“Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does,” writes The Associated Press. “For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain’s coffee and Timbits – or doughnut holes to Americans.”
That would put the company in competition in Mexico not only with Starbucks – which shares a franchise operator in Mexico with Burger King – but a growing number of other national and international coffee chains.
Restaurant Brands International was formed when Burger King, which is based in Miami but controlled by a Brazilian private equity fund, merged with Tim Hortons in 2014. Both Burger King and Tim Hortons continue to be run independently.
The chain was founded by hockey Hall of Famer Tim Horton, who died at 44 in a 1974 car accident after playing in a game for the Buffalo Sabres. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman won four Stanley Cups, including Toronto’s last in 1967.
That, and the chain’s omnipresence, puts his fame in Canada on the order of a New York Yankees baseball legend like Mickey Mantle or Yogi Berra, writes the AP.
Source: Press release, Associated Press