Tim Hortons Inc. is making a bigger push into the United States, according to a Feb. 17 report by The Globe and Mail in Toronto.
The coffee chain, which reported same-store sales rose 5.8 percent in the United States last quarter, plans to open new locations in areas such as Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, adding to its roughly 650 current stores.
Eventually, the United States could have “a whole lot of them,” said Daniel Schwartz, chief executive officer of parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc.
“We’ve done a good job laying the foundation for growth of Tim Hortons in the U.S.,” Schwartz said in an interview, declining to specify how many locations he will add. “The potential for the brand there is huge.”
On a same-store sales basis, the coffee chain is growing about twice as quickly as Restaurant Brands’ other major division, Burger King. That business saw North American growth of 2.8 percent last quarter.
But moving south of the border won’t be easy. Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. have largely cornered the US coffee market, locking in millions of customers with loyalty programs and convenient locations. The chain, known to millions of Canadians simply as “Tims,” also has stumbled in previous attempts to expand in the United States: It closed 27 shops in New York State and Maine in the fourth quarter because of poor performance.