Igor the Timbit look-alike - © Brian Laufman via Twitter

Tim’s ‘Strikes Back’ In The Phillipeans!

You may recall the unseemly little fuss we made when it was announced that a leading Filipino take-out restaurant chain was planning to open its first Canadian outlet. Not a problem for me! I’d love to try some reasonably authentic Filipino food. But, now, a Canadian chain is fighting back!

Timbits on rack - © smartcanucks.caI seriously doubt that Timbits will be switched out on the Manilla menu in favour of
Rice Balls… Somebody reassure Igor, the Timbit-loving Pug
in our main-page teaser pic!

I was really enthused to hear that Jollibee restaurants were coming to Canada. Jollibee’s menu portends some fun and tasty food. My only problem with the whole thing, really, was that I’d have top go to Winnipeg to try it. Yup. The ‘Peg has a rather large Filipino community and the Manilla-based chain decided to open there first.

Well, now, Tim Horton’s has announced it’s opening in Manilla! I took a playful approach to my headline for this post. No ill will intended, I’m sure!

Why Manilla?

Maybe the folks behind Tim’s – who have been saying they plan to take the brand global under their new ownership – thought about Jollibee coming to Winnipeg and reasoned that, if the Manilla-based chain thought the Canadian market was good for it, then why not look at the Filipino market for Tim’s? Jollibee did say, in its announcement, that it saw a lot of similarities between Filipino and Canadian tastes and preferences.

Where next?

Who can say? Who would have thought that Manilla would be the first extra-north American Tim’s location? I’ll bet Manilla will be used as a test bed for future Tim’s expansion. After all, wherever North American restaurants decide to open, they’ve historically had to fine-tune their menus and service regimes to fit with local cultural and religious norms. Will Timbits be switched out in Manilla in favour of Rice Balls? I doubt it. But there will be some interesting tweaks to the menu…

We’ll be keeping an eye on this one…

~ Maggie J.