Food & Drink

Toronto Star column about Tim Horton's failures

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 22nd, 2020 10:50 am
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12964 upvotes
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: What shortcuts are they sneaking on us over at Popeye's? You must be on to something given your dislike of that chain!
I've only been once (and posted that thread about it) so I didn't really dig in.
TBH I didn't even realize until after that trip that they were owned by the same company. Now I've known for a while, but when I went I didn't.
I might have to go back with my nosy glasses on and see what they're doing terribly.
Pete_Coach wrote: There is not a chain of fast food places that does not get it's product in bulk pre packaged and re-heats or de-frosts and then heats in one form of another before serving. that is the only way to be a fast food place.
To be fair, the good ones get raw ingredients in and cook them once.
The shitty places get fully cooked items in and reheat them.
No one is for example taking beef, grinding it, shaping patties, etc but they shouldn't be taking already cooked patties and retherming them. Most of them should be cooking from raw frozen patties.
OrangeBerry wrote:
The cashier who uses one glove to handle money but also uses their other hand to remove the dirty glove, then they grab the coffee pot, touch the lid and then slap it on there. Don't see any cleanliness there bud. It's not other places where a cashier is a cashier and every one has their job. I guess I should have retracted my previous comment about McDonalds since they do have a independent person making coffee. Tims seems to be less structual.
So one hand is for money while the other hand is for coffee? If they're good enough to keep it separate (Costco did this with their hot dogs when it's slow) I'm kind of okay with it.
It slows things down since you're one handed for everything but nothing is cross contaminating each other.

But if the cashier is doing this always, that's a horribly inefficient way of doing anything. Either you're burning gloves (which aren't cheap, even the deli ones) or you're crippling your staff in terms of speed.
No wonder they can't make an oreo ice cap....

I retract my statement if what you're saying is true. That's atrocious.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
35477 posts
9506 upvotes
Ottawa
death_hawk wrote: ........


To be fair, the good ones get raw ingredients in and cook them once.
The shitty places get fully cooked items in and reheat them.
No one is for example taking beef, grinding it, shaping patties, etc but they shouldn't be taking already cooked patties and retherming them. Most of them should be cooking from raw frozen patties.



.........
I retract my statement if what you're saying is true. That's atrocious.
I had a recent bad experience with what has been a normally good place, Boston Pizza. I ordered online to be delivered a dinner for my Wife and I.
It came very late 1 1/2 hours and when it did the food was cold. The worst was I ordered ribs and wings. The ribs were the most anemic looking things I had ever seen, no sauce, no grill just boiled looking ribs. I got 3 orders of cold steamed veggies that were not asked for and, well it was all bad LOL I complained.
Following up on the complaint, I was told that almost everything, including the pizza dough (in some cases), is delivered pre made to each restaurant. The ribs and other meat products are par boiled and vacuum packed and shipped to the restaurants where they are supposed to be re heated/finished and then grill marks are supposed to be put on.
We used to go to Boston frequently but now...well, who knows.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
5622 posts
2805 upvotes
Mississauga
Pete_Coach wrote: And they would get sued if hot coffee spilled on their hand if it did not have a lid.
I guess they weren’t worried as it’s been corroborated that that’s how they served brewed coffee pre-covid.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 9, 2013
3348 posts
1417 upvotes
Scarborough
Pete_Coach wrote: I had a recent bad experience with what has been a normally good place, Boston Pizza. I ordered online to be delivered a dinner for my Wife and I.
It came very late 1 1/2 hours and when it did the food was cold. The worst was I ordered ribs and wings. The ribs were the most anemic looking things I had ever seen, no sauce, no grill just boiled looking ribs. I got 3 orders of cold steamed veggies that were not asked for and, well it was all bad LOL I complained.
Following up on the complaint, I was told that almost everything, including the pizza dough (in some cases), is delivered pre made to each restaurant. The ribs and other meat products are par boiled and vacuum packed and shipped to the restaurants where they are supposed to be re heated/finished and then grill marks are supposed to be put on.
We used to go to Boston frequently but now...well, who knows.
You had me at anemic, hah

Boston Pizza definitely went down in quality.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4363 posts
3899 upvotes
Pete_Coach wrote: I had a recent bad experience with what has been a normally good place, Boston Pizza.
Following up on the complaint, I was told that almost everything, including the pizza dough (in some cases), is delivered pre made to each restaurant. The ribs and other meat products are par boiled and vacuum packed and shipped to the restaurants where they are supposed to be re heated/finished and then grill marks are supposed to be put on.
We used to go to Boston frequently but now...well, who knows.
OrangeBerry wrote: You had me at anemic, hah
Boston Pizza definitely went down in quality.
In another thread I point out that Little Caesar's Hot and Ready pizzas are identical to BP's pizza... for a much lower price. Now we know why...
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Sr. Member
Apr 1, 2015
818 posts
455 upvotes
NOYB
Huh?

Never thought lid would be an issue before I came to this thread. (Not a coffee drinker tho) Fun discussion.

Timmies needs to get their act together to rebuild Canadians confidence in their brand. Or maybe they don't care that much. I've been to some rural areas in Ontario and only thing I was able to get if I wanted some fast food was Timmie
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
35477 posts
9506 upvotes
Ottawa
Terabithia wrote: Huh?

Never thought lid would be an issue before I came to this thread. (Not a coffee drinker tho) Fun discussion.

.....
Even Justin Bieber railed on Timmies for their lids LOL
https://torontosun.com/entertainment/ce ... rtons-lids
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12964 upvotes
Pete_Coach wrote: I was told that almost everything, including the pizza dough (in some cases), is delivered pre made to each restaurant.
To be fair, this is most chains (re pizza dough)
Everything else isn't surprising for chains either. It's cheaper to centrally produce and retherm on site because you could pay a monkey to do it.
There's no quality variations either.
Oddly enough this applies to Tim's too except for the cost part. I'm pretty sure they're just soaking their franchisees.
The ribs and other meat products are par boiled and vacuum packed and shipped to the restaurants where they are supposed to be re heated/finished and then grill marks are supposed to be put on.
This is pretty common for any place that doesn't have a smoker. It's also why I typically don't order ribs anywhere because at minimum they're braised vs smoked and at worst they're braised off site and finished to order.
We used to go to Boston frequently but now...well, who knows.
I've never liked it to be honest. Everything there was kinda meh.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
35477 posts
9506 upvotes
Ottawa
death_hawk wrote: To be fair, this is most chains (re pizza dough)
Everything else isn't surprising for chains either. It's cheaper to centrally produce and retherm on site because you could pay a monkey to do it.
There's no quality variations either.
Oddly enough this applies to Tim's too except for the cost part. I'm pretty sure they're just soaking their franchisees.


This is pretty common for any place that doesn't have a smoker. It's also why I typically don't order ribs anywhere because at minimum they're braised vs smoked and at worst they're braised off site and finished to order.

I've never liked it to be honest. Everything there was kinda meh.
As I said previously "There is not a chain of fast food places that does not get it's product in bulk pre packaged and re-heats or de-frosts and then heats in one form of another before serving. that is the only way to be a fast food place."
My point was that they disappointed me and I posted what I was told by them.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2006
1369 posts
1485 upvotes
Toronto
Prior to being purchased, they were a better place to work. A coworker, who was an auditor in a earlier life, told me that senior people would be given a store upon retirement. I am guessing that that has changed since being bought out. Don't remember if that is when their products also went downhill but would not be surprised as that is a normal part of post-acquisition, cost cutting.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4363 posts
3899 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: This is pretty common for any place that doesn't have a smoker. It's also why I typically don't order ribs anywhere because at minimum they're braised vs smoked and at worst they're braised off site and finished to order.
Best example I know of this is Lone Star Texas Grill. When they first opened you could smell the smoke in the parking lot. They were smoking their ribs and chicken on-site and the product was pretty good.

Then that smoke smell disappeared and their products are more like what you'd get at a Recipe Unlimited McSysco. (no, Lone Star isn't owned by them... yet...) Pretty sad to think a chain that was actually started by a native Texan to bring an authentic taste of home up here would resort to that.
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5134 posts
1938 upvotes
Toronto
Terabithia wrote: Timmies needs to get their act together to rebuild Canadians confidence in their brand. Or maybe they don't care that much. I've been to some rural areas in Ontario and only thing I was able to get if I wanted some fast food was Timmie
I think Tims problem is, to borrow a political term, too much pandering to their base. Everything from their marketing to their menu works for good ol' Canadian boys in small towns where Tims is one of the only games in town. If you want a soup or sandwich quickly, well, Tims is never gourmet but you know what's on the menu and there's one there. That's not going to stack up against the options in major urban areas without huge changes, like actually cooking stuff. Are they going to start actually making breakfast, like a real cooked breakfast like A&W? I don't see it happening. I think they need to decide if they're going to go all-in and actually be a coffee shop that serves food, or stick to the very basics. The fancy menus to compete with actual restaurants are not going to work if they try to shoehorn them into their existing hardware and processes. It's like trying to make a spaghetti dinner using a hotel room coffee pot.
Sr. Member
Apr 1, 2015
818 posts
455 upvotes
NOYB
Manatus wrote: I think Tims problem is, to borrow a political term, too much pandering to their base. Everything from their marketing to their menu works for good ol' Canadian boys in small towns where Tims is one of the only games in town. If you want a soup or sandwich quickly, well, Tims is never gourmet but you know what's on the menu and there's one there. That's not going to stack up against the options in major urban areas without huge changes, like actually cooking stuff. Are they going to start actually making breakfast, like a real cooked breakfast like A&W? I don't see it happening. I think they need to decide if they're going to go all-in and actually be a coffee shop that serves food, or stick to the very basics. The fancy menus to compete with actual restaurants are not going to work if they try to shoehorn them into their existing hardware and processes. It's like trying to make a spaghetti dinner using a hotel room coffee pot.
I do find Tim's food pretty garbage and they wrap themselves in the flag somehow.
But no matter how hard we complain or critize here, there is still a lineup in every Tim I go to. And I live in gta.
Unless there is some kind of pressing issues among them I doubt any real changes would be made.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5134 posts
1938 upvotes
Toronto
Terabithia wrote: I do find Tim's food pretty garbage and they wrap themselves in the flag somehow.
But no matter how hard we complain or critize here, there is still a lineup in every Tim I go to. And I live in gta.
Unless there is some kind of pressing issues among them I doubt any real changes would be made.
Sure - and I'm just as guilty (?) too, sometimes I just need a generic coffee or something and don't want to pay $5 for a "real" coffee place, and don't want to go to McDonalds because I know once I'm there, I might as well get a whole meal and eat it hiding in the parking lot.

There's a place for Tims and their regular Tims stuff is doing just fine financially, probably. It's the forays into pseudo-hipster craft food (like those dream donuts, which I tried once and can honestly say have never dreamt of since) that are out of character and aren't going to work without severe changes to how they do things.

Or to put it another way, Tims needs to remember that they're the Pickle Barrel of coffee. They're the place where older people go to sit for way longer than it takes to eat or drink what they bought. They can change that if they really want to - but adding upscale food items to the menu and changing nothing else is just going to confuse people.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4363 posts
3899 upvotes
Manatus wrote: Sure - and I'm just as guilty (?) too, sometimes I just need a generic coffee or something and don't want to pay $5 for a "real" coffee place, and don't want to go to McDonalds because I know once I'm there, I might as well get a whole meal and eat it hiding in the parking lot.
There's a place for Tims and their regular Tims stuff is doing just fine financially, probably. It's the forays into pseudo-hipster craft food (like those dream donuts, which I tried once and can honestly say have never dreamt of since) that are out of character and aren't going to work without severe changes to how they do things.
Or to put it another way, Tims needs to remember that they're the Pickle Barrel of coffee. They're the place where older people go to sit for way longer than it takes to eat or drink what they bought. They can change that if they really want to - but adding upscale food items to the menu and changing nothing else is just going to confuse people.
Go into Starbucks, get a tall brewed coffee (choice of blonde roast, medium Pike Place roast, or whatever the featured dark roast is this month) for $2.50. As long as you pay using a Starbucks Card (either the card itself or the phone app) you get unlimited free refills as long as you don't leave the premises. Normally walking out the door ends your refill streak but due to coronavirus (fewer tables and chairs inside) you can drink outside and go back in for your refills. Suddenly your "tall" (12 oz) cup can end up like a Super Big Gulp for the same price... You don't get that deal at Tim's or McD's.... Bring a leak-proof vacuum flask or travel mug (deep jacket pockets or cargo pants pockets are great for this), dump your 12 oz of coffee in that, get back in line for refund, sit down, repeat until flask is full and you're walking out with a full paper cup in hand. The staff won't care if they see you doing it. They know to turn a blind eye to it for the good of the business. Keeping you as a customer is more important than denying you a refill and losing you for good. That's a lesson Tim's seems to have forgotten. American businesses are used to competition and treat their customers accordingly. Canadian businesses... not so much, they're used to monopoly power and protectionism. Ever notice American companies tend to use the line "Thank you for CHOOSING us"? That's in their culture. Good luck getting that line from near-monopolies like Loblaws or Tim Horton's who take for granted that customers don't have much choice.

Tim's needs to accept the fact that 1-they are the Dunkin Donuts of Canada 2-they will forever be an also-ran outside of Canada. Full stop. They try to go anywhere else in the world and the globally powerful trio of Starbucks, Dunkin, and McDonald's will kick their ass all over town and send them back to Canada with their tail between their legs. Over and over and over again. They try to copy Starbucks (like that silly flagship store downtown), and they'll look silly doing it (and lose money). They try to copy McDonald's (with burgers, bad McMuffin copycats...), and they'll look silly (and lose money). They need to just keep copying Dunkin so that Dunkin can never invade Canada. That's it. Otherwise (a man can dream, right?) Dunkin can come up here and do to Tim Horton's what Starbucks did to Second Cup. Oh how I wish that would happen.
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.

Top