Tim's Coffee Mug - © Tim Horton's

Tim’s Franchisees At Odds With Head Office

Tim Horton’s franchisees are unhappy with their masters, the holding company that also owns Burger King, even though profits are up and the chain can still claim to serve Canada’s most loved Coffee. The problem is the corporate style that is trickling down from above since the chain was bought out…

A Tim Horton s - © interfacearchitecture.comTim Horton’s latest store ‘look’. At least the new owners
aren’t making them redecorate…

Franchisees are extremely unhappy with their new masters. In fact, they’ve formed an association and retained legal counsel to stand up to the changes they’ve had to endure since international holding company 3G of Brazil took over at the tip, via their food division, Restaurant Brands International (RBI).

The Great White North Franchisee Association is determined to stand up for Horton’s franchisees. President David Hughes says, “We are now part of an equation focused on profit extraction, and that profit goes to shareholders.”

The folks at the bottom say costs are up for their food and supplies and they feel cut off from higher management. But the big issue is, the new owners have insisted on changing the organization from the top down, making the operation conform to the highly-efficient ‘3G Way’. At the corporate office, that means a clean, bare desk at all times when you’re not working. Among other extreme rules.

But that’s not all…

Franchisees hoped to ask important questions from the floor in an open, public forum at the Chain’s annual meeting yesterday. But they were shut out by the brass. Does RBI not understand that will only make things worse? It certainly makes RBI look worse, corporate image-wise. One might even make the leap and assume that RBI thinks it holds its franchisees in thrall and the little people can’t make their masters do anything about what bugs them. RBI needs to tune in to the grass roots and realize that the little people on the front lines will not perform as well or work as hard to follow the rules if they’re unhappy. And that will inevitably result in a deterioration in standards and, by association, profits.

I see a major confrontation brewing between the franchisees and the head office, at Tim’s. Alas. the little guys may not have the leverage they need to make change. The more troubled Tim’s becomes, as an organization, the less their franchises will be worth on the open market. They can’t just up and threaten to sell without throwing their investments and pensions down the drain.

~ Maggie J.