- Tim Hortons currently has 23 UK restaurants – but the fast food chain has ambitious plans to to open an outlet in "every major city and town" in the UK over the next two years, it told The Telegraph.
- Many of these will be drive-thru sites, which have seen "exceptional performance" during the pandemic.
- The new sites could create 2,000 new jobs.
- Tim Hortons' global sales fell by a third during lockdown as fewer people eat out.
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Tim Hortons plans to open a restaurant in "every major city and town" in the UK over the next two years, the company told The Telegraph.
This could create as many as 2,000 new jobs at the Canadian fast-food chain, which is best known for its coffee and donuts.
Tim Hortons is planning to expand its physical footprint even as it grapples with massive sales losses due to fewer people eating out during the pandemic. The company's global sales fell by around a third in the most recent quarter to $1.11 billion.
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Tim Hortons opened its first UK site in Glasgow in 2017. The chain now has 23 sites, including seven drive-thrus.
The company said most of its new sites would feature drive-thrus.
Tim Hortons' drive-thru and flagship locations have seen "exceptional performance" during the pandemic, Kevin Hydes, chief commercial officer of Tim Hortons UK and Ireland, told The Telegraph. The chain's model "is proving to be well attuned to the evolving needs of customers at this time," he added.
Drive-thru sites minimize in-person contact and are able to remain open as the UK government introduces restrictions on eating out.
Tim Hortons opened 62 new restaurants in the 12-month period ending June 2020. It now has more than 4,900 locations globally, with around four-fifths in Canada.
Tim Hortons is owned by fast-food giant Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which also owns Burger King and Popeyes Chicken. In total, RBI owns more than 27,000 restaurants around the world.
RBI is pushing to open more sites, especially through expansion outside the US and Canada, and aims to have 40,000 restaurants in total, CEO Jose Cil told investors.
"We're confident that we will be well positioned to capitalize on opportunities for growth as we emerge from the crisis," he said.
But sales across RBI fell by more than 20% in the quarter to July as restaurants were hit by lockdown restrictions.
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