Food & Drink

Toronto Star column about Tim Horton's failures

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Aug 22, 2006
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Terabithia wrote: there is still a lineup in every Tim I go to.
Manatus wrote:
There's a place for Tims and their regular Tims stuff is doing just fine financially, probably.
I kind of have to wonder about these 2 points.

Financially speaking, every quarter they complain about something stupid that makes their sales decline (ie that time the CEO said that cold weather was to blame for slow sales) and their own financial statements say that their sales figures are trending downwards year over year.

But I also see lineups everywhere too. So either someone is embezzling a giant fortune somewhere or people are learning how crappy they are and their stores aren't set up for volume any more.

Every time I see a lineup I'm surprised because I keep hearing that they're down 20% from last year.
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Dec 27, 2009
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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.
Neither fast food place I worked at as a teenager (in the late 80s) did any such thing (Wendy's and Harvey's). The fries or patties come frozen, but they weren't pre-cooked. No different that pulling frozen meat out of your freezer at home. They certainly weren't pre-cooked then microwaved, etc.
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May 10, 2005
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Chickinvic wrote: Neither fast food place I worked at as a teenager (in the late 80s) did any such thing (Wendy's and Harvey's). The fries or patties come frozen, but they weren't pre-cooked. No different that pulling frozen meat out of your freezer at home. They certainly weren't pre-cooked then microwaved, etc.
Well, seems times have changed since you worked there. I think burger joints are slightly different as it is just a meat patty.
I was told this by the Boston Pizza manager and have since heard from people I know at Montana's (all ribs and things that take a long time), East Side Marios. (all the sauces are in big bags or bottles) and Kelseys (almost everything is pre portioned cooked packages and just re-heat)
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Aug 29, 2011
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Oh yeah, the fast food/restaurant business has definitely changed in 30+ years. It's now all about product turnover and improving efficiencies. Why did Tim Horton's switch to frozen par-cooked baked goods? The perceived drop in quality was more than offset by the substantial drop in production cost.
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Aug 22, 2006
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Chickinvic wrote: Neither fast food place I worked at as a teenager (in the late 80s) did any such thing (Wendy's and Harvey's). The fries or patties come frozen, but they weren't pre-cooked. No different that pulling frozen meat out of your freezer at home. They certainly weren't pre-cooked then microwaved, etc.
Tim's 100% uses reheated precooked items because they don't have a kitchen.
Subway too.
But most burger joints have a real kitchen therefore do cook from raw.
And then there's BK who microwaves their burgers even though they do have a charbroiler.
Pete_Coach wrote: Well, seems times have changed since you worked there. I think burger joints are slightly different as it is just a meat patty.
I was told this by the Boston Pizza manager and have since heard from people I know at Montana's (all ribs and things that take a long time), East Side Marios. (all the sauces are in big bags or bottles) and Kelseys (almost everything is pre portioned cooked packages and just re-heat)
This is the running joke of the restaurant industry and is true.
This is also why an independent restaurant can be either amazing or shit. Any idiot can call up Sysco and "Hello, one restaurant please" and have prepackaged everything ready to heat and serve.
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Pete_Coach wrote: Well, seems times have changed since you worked there. I think burger joints are slightly different as it is just a meat patty.
I was told this by the Boston Pizza manager and have since heard from people I know at Montana's (all ribs and things that take a long time), East Side Marios. (all the sauces are in big bags or bottles) and Kelseys (almost everything is pre portioned cooked packages and just re-heat)
Those aren't fast food restaurants? Those are crappy chains. Fast food is places like McDonald's, etc. And as far as I know, McDonald's cooks their patties in the restaurant, etc, not just reheat.
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Aug 22, 2006
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mrweather wrote: The perceived drop in quality was more than offset by the substantial drop in production cost.
The funny thing is... to franchisees the production cost actually went UP.
So the product got shittier AND more expensive.
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Chickinvic wrote: Those aren't fast food restaurants? Those are crappy chains. Fast food is places like McDonald's, etc. And as far as I know, McDonald's cooks their patties in the restaurant, etc, not just reheat.
I disagree, fast food to me is any order ready in 10-15 minutes or less. And as I said, "I think burger joints are slightly different as it is just a meat patty."

I think you would be surprised at how much restaurant food, even at higher end ones, where food is pre-prepared. If you think any place that has ribs or smoked meat or that type and does not have a smoker in back is not getting it's product pre-packed, then you are dreaming. Same goes for anything that takes along time (lamb or pork shanks, osso buco, even risotto) isn't pre made, think again.
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Aug 22, 2006
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Pete_Coach wrote: I disagree, fast food to me is any order ready in 10-15 minutes or less.
This is kind of a weird line to draw though. With enough prep, even a fineish dining place cooking from scratch can prep something where I can produce a plate of something homemade in 15 minutes. Anyone that does the "heat and eat" type place can do this too (which I guess is your point).

I'm with @Chickinvic on this one with the more "traditional" QSR (ie McDonads/Wendys/Subway) being called "fast food".
If I were to put a timer on it, I'd say 5 minutes or less under "normal" conditions.
I'd also put in maybe a condition of no table service, although some QSRs like McDonalds did that table service burger for a while which kinda breaks this.
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death_hawk wrote: The funny thing is... to franchisees the production cost actually went UP.
How so? You no longer have to maintain a kitchen or baking staff; all you need is a minimum-wage monkey to shove the frozen foods in the oven and take them out again when it beeps.
So the product got shittier AND more expensive.
Agree 100%.
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Aug 22, 2006
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mrweather wrote: How so? You no longer have to maintain a kitchen or baking staff; all you need is a minimum-wage monkey to shove the frozen foods in the oven and take them out again when it beeps.
You do still have to maintain a kitchen (albeit a smaller one) to reheat the frozen stuff. I think decorating is still done on site too since you can't just reheat icing.
But apparently paying someone to bake donuts vs buying already baked donuts is cheaper according to the first complaints when they switched to bringing in frozen.
I don't know if they worked this out between franchisees and corporate or not. Kinda makes sense since the ingredient cost for a donut isn't very high.
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Jul 5, 2004
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death_hawk wrote: I kind of have to wonder about these 2 points.

Financially speaking, every quarter they complain about something stupid that makes their sales decline (ie that time the CEO said that cold weather was to blame for slow sales) and their own financial statements say that their sales figures are trending downwards year over year.

But I also see lineups everywhere too. So either someone is embezzling a giant fortune somewhere or people are learning how crappy they are and their stores aren't set up for volume any more.

Every time I see a lineup I'm surprised because I keep hearing that they're down 20% from last year.
Tims has gotten very slow over the years. They used to be good at what they did, coffee, donuts, muffins and a couple basic sandwiches. Now they have a huge menu and they aren't efficient like they used to be. It takes them longer to serve the same number of people.
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Pete_Coach wrote: Well, seems times have changed since you worked there. I think burger joints are slightly different as it is just a meat patty.
I was told this by the Boston Pizza manager and have since heard from people I know at Montana's (all ribs and things that take a long time), East Side Marios. (all the sauces are in big bags or bottles) and Kelseys (almost everything is pre portioned cooked packages and just re-heat)
Things do change, so I will admit that in the last 15 years since I worked at Kelseys, things may have changed.
At both Kelseys and Montanas, nothing was pre-cooked, absolutely nothing. In fact, I don't think anything was portioned either. The staff during the day would do all the portioning in anticipation of the lunch and dinner rushes.
Ribs would go in the oven for 5+ hours. Most things came frozen, but never pre-cooked and rarely if ever pre-portioned.

Even today, I doubt everything is pre-cooked. Ribs perhaps, but definitely not chicken or burgers. It wouldn't make much sense. It would reduce the quality for no real benefit. It doesn't take long to grill a burger or chicken breast.
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Feb 7, 2005
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Tims suck as far as coffee goes . Mickey d's is passable for the price .
Still serving a 90 day suspension from " off topic "and "politics "May 21,2020.
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Mar 14, 2005
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Aren't the donuts cheaper at Safeway?
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