5 Reasons Tim Hortons Sucks

For those of you unaware, Tim Hortons is an international1 coffee & donut shop co-founded by Tim Horton, a Canadian Hockey player (who died when he lost control of his 1974 Pantera at 100mph, while under the influence of alcohol and pain killers). By feeding off it’s inherently Canadian origins, combined with massive expansion, clever marketing and sponsorships Tim Hortons has managed to inject itself as key part of Canadiana – up there with Hockey Night In Canada, curling, cheap beer and The CBC.

Tim Hortons has done such an excellent job marketing their “Canadian-ness,” that many Canadians literally feel that it’s their patriotic duty to patronize the restaurant.

I am not one of those Canadians. Tim Hortons sucks!

1. Tim Hortons coffee is terrible!

A lot of Canadians hold Tim Hortons coffee in high esteem, “it’s great, like Canadian beer”. Most Canadians are probably only familiar with the “double-double” (2 shots of cream and 2 sugars). But really, almost any black coloured beverage would taste pretty OK with that much cream and sugar. I prefer my coffee black. I’ve tried to drink Tim Hortons coffee without cream or sugar, it’s completely unbearable. It actually tastes like the unbrewed grounds are just suspended in hot water.

As far as I understand, when a coffee actually tastes better with cream and sugar it indicates a cheaper bean. But, the Tim Hortons double-double has such a distinct taste, I think they’re actually trying to achieve a specific flavour profile that only works with cream and sugar. It does not taste like your standard cheap coffee bean + cream + sugar. It doesn’t exactly taste any better or worse really, just different, almost unnatural. I think this is how they convince the masses that such a poor quality product is actually “good.”

Tim Hortons’ recent foray into espresso based beverages has had even more terrifying results. My advice: just stay away.

2. Their food is hardly “always fresh”

For at least the past 15 – 20 years, Tim Hortons has used the slogan “Always Fresh.” Originally – back in the days when they were competing with mom & pop’s and truck stops – it was a guarantee that their coffee was never allowed to sit for more than 20 minutes. I’ve personally witnessed customers being served coffee older than 20 minutes, but that’s beside the point. The only thing worse than Tim Hortons coffee is Tim Hortons coffee that’s been sitting around for 30 minutes, no amount of cream and sugar can fix that.

Lately, the slogan is also being used to imply that their baked goods and food products are also always fresh. Nothing could be future from the truth. Fact is, as of 2001, Tim Hortons actually par-bakes their product in a central location in Brantford, Ontario2. Where they are then frozen and shipped to Tim Hortons stores across the world. Once they reach the store, the final touches – like fillings, sprinkles, etc – are added and the goods are baked in a highly visible oven, giving customers the impression that they’ve been make from scratch in store.

By Tim Hortons’ definition the frozen pizza I had for supper was also fresh!

The small stand-alone locations in airports, hospitals, etc are even worse. They don’t even usually contain the equipment to do the finish baking, so they have to import the products from other Tim Hortons stores.

As for their actual food – soups, sandwiches, etc – these are no more fresh than anything you would expect at any other fast food restaurant.

3. Tim Hortons is not Canadian owned

As of August 8th, 1995, Tim Hortons has been owned by the US-based Wendy’s3.

That means, buying Tim Hortons is no more Canadian than any other franchised restaurant.

As an interesting aside, the company that does the par-baking for Tim Hortons is a Irish subsidiary of a Swiss multinational4.

4. Inefficient Service

Tim Hortons seems to have a complete and utter lack of knowledge when it comes to food service efficiency. The main problem would seem to be the lack of a standard fast food assembly-line type process, combined with poor/non-standarized store layout.

Never having been an employee of Tim Hortons, I don’t know what their manul dictates. But, these observations appear to be standard partices:

  • When you place an order, the same employee (“Cashier”) that enters your order and takes your money, is also responsable for preparing your order and handing it to you.
  • If you’re only ordering a coffee and a donut this generally works fine – donuts and coffee makers are generally within arms reach of the cash register. Service is fairly quick.
  • If the coffee maker runs out, the Cashier is responsible for refilling the beans – before bringing you your order! This obviously slows down the entire queue.
  • If your order includes anything other than a coffee and a donut – like a soft drink, specialty coffee beverage, bagel, “meal,” etc, the system completely breaks down! These items are generally not within arms reach of the front counter. While the bagels and sandwiches do have dedicated crew members, the preparation stations are often in inefficient locations (depending on store layout) causing the receiving process to be somewhat awkward. Either the cashier will bring these items to you, or you are expected to wait in a cafeteria style line, or you simply wait off to the side. It’s near chaos.
  • The specialty coffee beverages (iced caps, iced mochas, lattes, etc) are made by the cashier. Depending on the drink, this involves 3 to 5 steps, including stiring by hand! These stations are typically not located near the front counter. It’s not uncommon for a Cashier to take a minute or two to make these drinks.
  • During peak times, when a cashier is busy compiling a customer’s order, another employee will take the cashier’s place and begin on the next customer’s order. Depending on the layout of the store and the number of employees, this can sometimes delay the simpler coffee & donut orders by causing bottlenecks around the coffee stations.

I’m not an expert on fast food restaurant efficiency. It just seems to me that Tim Hortons is one of the most inefficient fast food operations. They need to re-organize the way they handle and deliver orders.

5. Cups Are Not Recyclable5

Tim Hortons uses a wax lined cup that is only recyclable in 3 small Canadian Cities: Moncton, NB; Windsor, ON; and Owen Sound, ON6. Also, Tim Hortons cups do not contain any recycled materials.

Tim Hortons may or may not be the only chain in Canada that uses this type of cup. But they are particularly bad for 2 reasons. 1) Their annual RRRRRoll Up The Rim contest. For those of you non-Canadians, this contest involves a prize being printed on the inside of the paper cup’s rolled up rim. While the contest is running, customer “eating-in” who would normally have their coffee poured into a reusable ceramic mug are given an additional contest cup. 2) “Double-cupping” seems to be a fairly common practice at Tim Hortons across the country. This is when the Tim Hortons employee will put an additional paper cup around the first cup to insulate your hand from the hot beverage. Apparently the concept of a paper sleeve has not caught on with the Tim Hortons Brass.

Recycling and environmentalism is a way of life for many Canadians. It’s completely unacceptable for such a “Canadian” company to have such irresonsable practices.

In conclusion, Tim Hortons is anti-Canadian!!7


Footnotes:

  1. It’s not common knowledge that they have locations in US, Ireland and UK. Check the Wikipedia entry.
  2. See this press release: www.timhortons.com/en/about/news_archive_2001f.html
  3. CBC Archive: archives.cbc.ca/on_this_day/08/08/
  4. The bakery is called Maidstone Bakery. I had to dig through the internet archive to find the page: web.archive.org/web/20080115134215/http://www.wendys-invest.com/timhortons.php The parent company can be found here: www.iaws.ie I’m pretty sure this company is the subject of an AIM Trimark commercial, but that’s another blog post.
  5. This blog post goes into great detail: www.buzzbishop.com/blog/2008/02/25/rrroll-up-the-un-recyclable-rim/, Tim Hortons own FAQ also concedes the fact, but tries to put a positive spin on it, stating that they are working to get more recyling plants built – rather than actually doing something on their end! www.timhortons.com/en/about/faq.html
  6. Tim Hortons helped build this recycling plant!!! (see their FAQ linked above)
  7. That said, I don’t really feel that any of these points are reasons NOT to visit Tim Hortons. I just feel like Canadians need to understand that Tim Hortons is not all that great and there’s definitely nothing Canadian about it. A lot of people I know enjoy going to Tim Horton and I will continue to join them, I just choose not to visit when the choice is mine.

488 comments

  1. Um how about the fact that their employees and management are idiots.

    Today, I order a soup/sandwhich combo, it got rang in as individual items so no combo discount, thus over charged. I get my food, only to find out there are no napkins and no spoon. So here I am drinking my mediocre soup like an idiot.

    How about the fact that for me it appears to be a coin toss between this type of awful service and getting the proper basic service. It’s fun ordering a tea and getting a black coffee. I love that! It’s fun ordering a bagel with cream cheese yet there appears to be little bits of cheddar cheese in it because they used the same knife to spread bagels as cut sandwiches.

    It’s really awesome when their hot chocolate robot is in a bad mood and spits our a brown liquid that looks like chocolate but just tastes like hot water. Love spending my money on that.

    I think whether or not the coffee is good is subject to opinion, I drink small black coffee on occasion and I can’t say any black coffee is delicious.
    However their food is just terrible. Their breakfast sandwich on an english muffin is soggy as fuck. Recently they came out with breakfast panninis and I’m like, “Awesome, it’s grilled on the outside so it can’t be soggy!”. I order it, soggy as fuck. All of their food is pretty terrible which is hilarious because they’re trying to compete with mcdonalds on the breakfast food category and fail miserably, but McDonalds tried to compete with Tim Horton’s on the Coffee front and to me won, their coffee tastes pretty good.

    Man I hate Tim Hortons, I know, I know, I just shouldn’t go, but they’re everywhere and sometimes you just gotta get something in you. I risk that coin toss and hope for heads.. or tails.. whichever is not terrible. I swear if Tim Hortons wasn’t spread around like a plague, they would go out of business. They’re just everywhere.

    Lastly the whole, “hey we’re canadian and so are you, so we’re proud to be canadian eh”. Makes me sick when you think about the quality of their products. If shitty products equals Canadian pride then we as canadians are idiots.

  2. I just arrived home after a 2 week vacation in the maritimes. When we travel, we enjoy walks and hikes as our busy schedules only allow for treadmills or stationary bikes. Everywhere we went we saw Tim Hortons cups, not just a few, mountains, shores, paths, etc. I have never enjoyed their product and avoid it like the plague. The mass minipulation that this conglomerate washes over Canadians sickens me. The fact that so many of my family and friends “drink the koolaid” and consume their product and force fed rhetoric leaves me at wits end. “Timmy’s” should shoulder more responsibility in the litter problem. Wanna be Canadian, and drink their crap, at least hide the evidence in a proper way., not out the window or wherever else you like. You have already sold out, at least have a little pride in where you live.

  3. It’s pretty stupid of you to think that all the TH employees are not efficient based on only YOUR experience. I highly doubt you have been to every single TH store and met every single employee. The ones in my city, especially the morning crew, are extremely efficient. And the coffee is NOT terrible in my opinion, I enjoy it very much. As for not being always fresh, that depends entirely on the individual store and what the manager is doing. Oh and anti-Canadian? Really? Considering how many Canadians got jobs with TH, I would say it definitely is not anti-Canadian. As for the cups not being recyclable..some of us bought the TH mugs so that we’re not using those cups. If you care about the environment then use your own cup, dumbass.

  4. I got a sandwich from a gas station tim hotons today and that’s the last time ill ever eat at ANY tim hortons again first they didn’t even say hello welcome to tim hortons then I wait while the woman who is now finished making my sandwich finishes her conversation in philipino with her co worker, I get 20 minutes down the street where I open my sandwich to smell gasoline or degreaser all over it and I took a bite and had to spit it back out I couldn’t go back as traffic was bad and like anyone who eats there it was just because I didn’t have the time to prepare my own breakfast and that was the final straw of MANY at Tim Hortons and I am one of many customers who they have lost for good

  5. Every time I had ever gotten a bagel with creamcheese they spread it like a 2year old making a mud castle and theres no creamcheese in the bagel it all seems to get pushed into the hole in the middle if I wanted that id go buy a tub of creamcheese and eat it with a spoon also my girlfriend gets a bagel the other day with butter and they butter one side of it leaving the other side dry there English muffin breakfast sandwich is never toasted enough its like something youd serve to a 76 year old lady with no teeth and there sausage patty has had some weird chunks of mystery meat in the that I had to stop chewing and chase it whole with some of there warm milksugarwater excuse for coffee

  6. no wonder the coffee is so bland they don’t even grind it in house that being said knowing the MAJORITY of their staff they probably wouldn’t be able to do that with out screwing it up I WILL NEVER SPEND A DIME THERE AGAIN

  7. This was pointless… And next time you decide to publish another “masterpiece”, please proofread before you upload it. That is, if you’re interested in being taken seriously.

  8. Why do their bread products (bagels, bread, etc.) feel “plasticy” when you bite into them? I had to stop eating there…their sandwiches and such taste artificial…

  9. Wow, this article is very much out of date.

    First of all its now once again a truly Canadian Company (but don’t feel bad I thought it was still American too but found out its been Canadian again since 2009)

    Secondly, you can have whatever coffee you drink, its still by far the best coffee I have taste and I have been to many countries in our world.

    Yes you have a few legitimate beefs but its a poor depiction of a great coffee house.

  10. hi tim hortons is ok

    McDonald’s is one of several giant corporations with investments in vast tracts of land in poor countries, sold to them by the dollar-hungry rulers (often military) and privileged elites, evicting the small farmers that live there growing food fortheir own people.

    The power of the US dollar means that in order to buy technology and manufactured goods, poor countries are trapped into producing more and more food for export to the States. Out of 40 of the world’s poorest countries, 36 export food to the USA – thewealthiest.

    ECONOMIC IMPERIALISM

    Some ‘Third World’ countries, where most children are undernourished, are actually exporting their staple crops as animal feed – i.e. to fatten cattle for turning into burgers in the ‘First World’. Millions of acres of the best farmland in poor contries are being used for our benefit – for tea, coffee, tobacco, etc. – while people there are starving. McDonald’s is directly involved in this economic imperialism, which keeps most black people poor and hungry while many whites grow fat.

    so ya

    1. WHO CARES. Without coffee and burgers they’d be just like Yoko Ono: living off dead beetles.
      Go sell your leftist drivel to someone else.
      And ditch those sociology courses at York University.
      Total b.s.

  11. Tim Hortons is a horrible company. It’s more like a slave factory than a company. The pay isn’t worth the amount of work that goes into it. McDonald’s treat their employees better than that slave factory. And the employees suck ass too. I asked for double cup and the bitch at the counter gave me sleeves and told me to fuck off. The managers are no better. They make you feel like shit after a long day’s worth of work. The abuse ranges from making you cry to accusing you of lies. Disgusting place. Hope it goes to shitters. Fuck you, Tim Hortons. Fuck you.

  12. Tim Hortons hires Temporary Foreign Workers. Just let that sink into your mind for a sec.
    They do that so they won’t get stronger unions and keep on treating their employees like shit. The place I worked at had all TFWs and none of them ever voiced out the wrongs the company did to them because they don’t want to go back to their countries. It’s either shit work for shit pay or no job.

  13. As missy pointed out the majority of the time the cashier has a “coffee person” or “runner” who makes the coffee and various other drinks. The only time that’s not the case is a slow shift such as at night or if someone didn’t show up for work. And I’m sorry but someone in the comments is complaining about the freshness of the coffee because it’s stored in a vacuum sealed bag? I assure you science proves that without oxidation it will remain fresh for a given time which is also why there are use before dates on the package. But I would just like to point out that you complain about a “long wait” and then expect Tim’s to grind coffee beans in store, bake everything in store, etc. This all takes time too you can’t have it both ways. You said yourself that you’ve never worked there so you don’t even know what the “inefficiency” you say you’re witnessing. There are several steps to certain drinks that take a tiny bit of time to make such as Iced Capps and Lattes. The coffee is put on before you get your order if it’s running low to ensure everyone can get their order, ai promiseyou are not the only one in the world who “deserves fast service” as you are implying. Tim’s is very open about the fact that the donuts and muffins are somewhat prevailed and as for sandwiches all veggies and meet are as fresh as the ones in your fridge at home are. Just because you may have witnessed a poorly run Tim’s or happened to catch an employee on a bad day (they are human you know) does not mean it’s wise to write an article pretending you know everything. You had some good facts there in the beginning but lost my interest when you started guessing and it turned into more of a temper tantrum because you may have had a slightly negative experience once.

  14. The person that wrote this about timmies(Ryan) has NO idea what he is talking about & to make such inacurrate statements, I must say he is a morron !

  15. I work at tim hortons and this is wrong. this article is kind of annoying and not true. the tim hortons is pretty efficient, not that much because everyone is a student, but the coffee pots and the sandwich centers are all right there near the counter. nothing takes 1-2 mins. Always Fresh means the coffee pots are timed for 20 mins after, and sometimes this may be delayed a bit more but mistakes like that can happen anywhere. if you mean it’s not fresh as in the food is full of preservatives and shipped around, then dude, all fast food you buy is unhealthy garbage. and I must say, for all the coffee is terrible thing you’re putting up, tim hortons dominates all cities and you have like, hundreds of customers in it all the time. if it was so bad, no one would come.

    1. You’ll never make it as a business consultant. Tims has “hundreds of customers in it all the time”?? That’s the problem, THEY ARE STUCK IN LINE AND NOT MOVING, while over at McD’s they’ve been processed and shipped out the door with quick turnaround times. You see donut shops packed with long lines as a sign of success. Actually it’s a sign of failure, and most in that line are not happy campers. Hundreds of customers per hour at McD’s with only 2-5 people in each cashier’s line? …now that’s success.

  16. I’d love to see these people that are complaining about “inefficient service” work at one for a day and see what it’s like from the other side of the counter. People are so ignorant.

    1. Most people don’t know business terminology. Inefficiency is not a natural product of effort, because many employees give TONS of effort. But the system they work within is fundamentally squandering effort because inefficiencies have not been removed (ie Lean Six Sigma style). Nowhere is this more evident than the difference between Tim’s and McD’s in terms of assembly-line production: McD’s has it, Tim’s does not, and it’s hurting Tim’s business through persistent, inevitable long lines. Th employees try hard but they have the wrong tools. Peter Drucker once said “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

  17. Tims is fucking gross. Can’t believe people still go there. We have about 20 restaurants in town and they are always full.
    The sheep never cease to amaze me.

  18. The simple fact is that it IS the customer that is the true cause of ALL of these points. The average consumer has no clue as to what quality coffee is and tend to follow everyone else around like sheep. They can be easily bought off (roll up the rim) by the chance to win a free product, irrespective of the quality of that product. As long as they THINK they are getting a good deal they will put up with a lot. Tims is BRILLIANT in their marketing and really does a fantastic job at pulling in the lowest common denominator of consumer. What it comes down to is MOST consumers will put up with just about anything if they THINK they are getting a good deal. Frankly I would rather drink rewarmed vomit than ANY Tims coffee product. And yes…I am a Starbucks fan. I am more than happy to pay a significantly higher price for a cup of coffee if it means I will get a significantly better product and better service. When Tims customers have a meltdown because they have the NERVE to raise their price by 10 cents for a large coffee, this REALLY tells you where the true problem lies. It would be far better if Tims customers just honestly admitted they have no clue as to what a good coffee really tastes like instead of constantly defending the undefendable. The bottom line is that Tims has ZERO interest in providing a top quality product through top quality service. All they want is every last cent from your pocket. The employees need to be given a break on this though. They can only work within the tools and systems they are given. Many have very good reasons why they work there…as we ALL do for our own jobs. But I refuse to accept any employee whining. If you do not like it there are plenty of other options available if you put the effort into it. But this ends up causing a employees to not care and therefore incorrect orders. I once (in 2008…last time I went to Tims) ordered a medium decaf with 2 cream and an apple fritter. When I got my order it was a medium black tea so loaded with sugar I almost got diabetes just from looking at it, and a maple dip. The order could not have been more incorrect. When I complained to the manager I made sure to make a scene and said very simply “This is a coffee and donut shop. This is what you do. How could you get BOTH of them wrong on my order?” to which I got a resounding round of applause. I was then asked to leave…which I did but ONLY after demanding a full refund. Tims Hortons really needs to change their slogan to “Bahhhhh”.

    1. Best summary ever: “It would be far better if Tims customers just honestly admitted they have no clue as to what a good coffee really tastes like instead of constantly defending the undefendable.”

  19. Refreshingly un-Canadian article. Although I am from Europe and grew up mostly on espresso shots, Tim Horton’s coffee is truly dreadful. I can take Second Cup, Starbucks, Timothy’s, but TH only out of sheer despair. It is the irrational and laughable pride Canadians harbour for everything Canadian that prevents them to notice.

  20. Ugh… so true… The last Tim Horton’s coffee I actually dumped after one sip… It tastes like mud. Canadians can sometimes seem so naive and duped… lol. And they are an unethical company too.

  21. YOU ARE FUCKEN’ RETARDED! YOU FUCKEN DIS THE PLACE AND MAKE SHITTY REMARKS ABOUT TIM HORTON! LET ME GUESS YOU ARE FUCKEN AMERICAN WITH YEE FANTASY SHIT! YOU ARE SUCH A FUCKEN DRUGGY ASSED MOTHER FUCKER! THAT’S WHAT I THINK ABOUT YOUR SHIT! YEE YEE!

  22. i agree with missy. my friend works at tims and your really not that accurate. the advantages of an employer well outweighs the negative. there are many perks including some free food, free uniform, room for advancement and profit sharing. also work bonuses for goid employees.

  23. YAY Someone who has the same opinion I do about Tim Hortons. I can’t stand their coffee; in fact the few times I did have some (last time was years ago) I always felt slightly sick afterwards.It also has a strange aftertaste. Their soups are awful. Their Cream of Mushroom soup is very gelatinous. I’m not a donut lover, so can’t really comment about those, but I have had their tea biscuits and those are okay as is their tea. But sadly, that’s about it 🙁

  24. I’ve been working at a couple Tim Hortons for about a year now and even I gotta say, I prefer McDonald’s coffee. I won’t eat McDonald’s (I do eat Tim’s) but their coffee’s better. I do disagree with some of Tim Horton’s management methods, but a lot of them are great. It’s just that it all depends on the team. Some stay at their stations and things go great and are organized, others float around and screw things up. But I’d say about 80% of the employees I’ve worked with are great, and about 50% of the customers are morons. We see a LOT of weirdos, no matter where we are, because we see everybody. Everybody comes to Tim Hortons. But even when it comes to customers who aren’t these weirdos, customers I even like, there are things that customers do that we HATE, and I’m sure every Tim’s employee will love this getting out: 1) Talking SO QUIETLY. I assure you I have no hearing difficulties, these people are just SO quiet it’s ridiculous. Mumbling, LOOKING AWAY while you talk quietly to us, even whispering! YES I will ask you to repeat yourself, and NO it’s not because I am deaf or stupid. We generally speak very loud when the environment is loud and we expect you to do the same. I don’t mean yelling, just a normal strong voice. And no, we don’t care if you get pissed off at us for asking you to repeat yourself 20 times, because we already hate you for making us, and for not talking like a f*cking normal person and hence stalling everything. 2) Not listening to us or paying attention. Whether you’re texting, on the phone, talking to someone next to you, or just tryna look cool… It is rude and you should get the hell out of the line until you’re ready to TALK to us. If you can’t text or talk at the same time as quickly and properly telling us your order and paying attention to us, don’t. People are waiting behind you and see what a dick you’re being by making us wait until you’re paying attention before taking/sorting out/confirming your order, hence making them wait longer. Everybody hates you now. Get out. 3) Hitting on us. We don’t care about you, we’re only smiling at you and anything you say because it’s our job. We are not smiling inside. We’re just counting down the minutes until we’re finished work and don’t have to deal with you any more. You’re just another customer to us, and one that is stalling the line and annoying us while we’re tryna get your sh*t done. And the customers in line behind you hate you, and then start to hate us because we didn’t shut you up, but it’s because we can’t, we have to be nice and we hate it. It’s not even flattering. Stop. 4) Coming through the drive-through with a HUGE order. The drive-though is supposed to be extra quick. A couple drinks, or a sandwich or 2, or a couple side items or something. Not a 6 or 12 pack of doughnuts or muffins, not 5 combos or some sh*t. Get out and come inside, because there is a line-up of customers behind you tryna get a quick coffee on their way to work, and they hate you too. 5) Naming all your specific doughnuts/timbits/muffins in a 6/12/10/20/50 pack right away. For example: You want a pack of 12 doughnuts. Don’t name all your doughnuts right off the bat. Tell me you want a 12 pack, I will put it in your order, then we will proceed to the display and you can tell me which ones AS I get them for you. I will not remember exactly which doughnuts you want when you say “1 ____, 1 ____, 2 ____, 1 ____, 2 ____, 2 ____, and 3 ____.” You will have to repeat yourself, which you won’t enjoy. and I won’t enjoy politely waiting for you to finish your sentence before telling you to repeat yourself. It’s not so bad if you want 2 of 3 kinds of doughnuts or muffins in a 6 pack, or 2 or 3 kinds of timbits in a pack, but when it’s diverse and specific, come join me at the display, please. I am not a robot. 6) Not paying attention to when you’re order is ready, even when we’re shouting it. If we’ve yelled “TWO MEDIUM DOUBLE-DOUBLES” several times and you’re still on the moon or talking to someone, we will stop trying because we don’t have time for that sh*t and/or because we want to back off, breathe, and forget how much we want to strangle all the stresses of our shift outta you. Some a**hole WILL probably come and swipe your order, seeing as nobody’s taking it for like 5 minutes and it’s been paid for. We watch it happen. And kind of enjoy you being all “Oh my god wtf what a dick s/he just stole it!” Cause you deserve it. You’re the dick. And we don’t deserve having to waste sh*t by give you another one for free. But we’re nice, and do it with a smile. Pay attention. 7) Taking a huge order while you’re in a huge rush. We already try to be as fast as possible, so telling us you need 3 combos and that you’re bus to a job interview is in 45 seconds? Stop. Order a drink and a side item or anything quick. Cause that’s you being immature when it comes to priorities, and then being angry at us about being late. Come to Tim’s later with that order. Seriously. We are fast, but we are still only human.

    Now don’t worry, we will never spit in your food or something because we are under 24/7 all-angles camera surveillance and can’t get away with anything. We will lose our jobs. And that is the only reason customers don’t get slapped 900 times a day. So please, now you know how not to be a dick customer, so don’t be. Come in, politely make your order clear, take it, and go, and we will love you. You don’t even have to say thank you, just maybe a tiny smile or nod, because we usually don’t even have time to listen and say “You’re welcome” before we’re dealing with the next customer and hoping he’s not a dick either. People are people, and some people are dicks. Including some employees, not saying they’re not. But of course don’t throw a fit at someone for making a mistake once (when it happens often, then be mad. I’ve complained to another Tim’s for aaalwaaays getting my order wrong, it’s ridiculous). But for those of us who will act like you mean the world to us even though we just wanna go home, please, just… come on. Thank you.

    1. Wow. You sound like an entitled teenager. Way too much disrespect for customers to be in that line of work. Cameras are “the only reason customers don’t get slapped 900 times a day”? What arrogance. “50% of the customers are morons”? Hey, 5% I’d buy, even 10%, since I’ve seen such idiots myself. But not 50%. Grow up little girl, the world doesn’t exist just to make you happy. Quit before you get fired.

  25. i totally agree with most of the above! ; with Tim Hortons and most other places too. HAPPY TO HEAR SEVERAL AGREE THAT COFFEE SUCKS EVERYWHERE. What is so annoying is that when coffee is brewed with too little coffee, it gets a strong chemical taste, so people think its too strong and complain so they use less coffee. TO GET RID OF THAT AWFUL ‘COFFEE WASHED THROUGH GROUNDS WEAK AND CHEMICAL TASTE, YOU HAVE TO ADD MORE COFFEE NOT LESS!… They (T.H.) recently added the dark roast so for a few weeks at least there was a bit of a ‘bite’ to it like it should be, but had one yesterday and it tasted wishy washy again and I left it as usual. McDonalds had great coffee when they first advertised they have changed to a good coffee.. But even when it was actually good at that time it was not consistent. One McD would be great, then the next outlet would make it too weak again. Coffee should not be clear looking in the pot! Making weak coffee is much like making watery hot chocolate!
    I THINK THERE IS A NOTION THAT THESE OUTLETS HAVE GOOD COFFEE JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE BUSY… NOT THE CASE! PEOPLE GO IN TIMS’ TYPE PLACES BECAUSE THERE ARE NO RESTAURANTS A PERSON CAN SIT AND HAVE A COFFEE IF YOU DONT WANT A MEAL AND THEY ARE OPEN LATE..CERTAINLY NOT BECAUSE THE COFFEE IS GOOD. Personally, I am really fed up! Something is wrong with the crops/weather where grown or something. No matter which brand we buy for home, it is pretty bad too. Every once in a while we find another good package but never consistent.
    I used to purchase a brand (various) for a long period of time and it was always good. Now it is hopeless!
    And like the guy said about Tim Hortons sucking…WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO QUIT DRINKING/BUYING BAD COFFEE? I just got another brand i used to use for years and it is so awful, there is no way to brew it that it is bearable to drink.
    I THINK WE NEED TO WRITE T O THESE INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES; SOMETIMES THAT GETS RESULTS.. But, of course, if the public mixes their coffee with so much sugar and cream (sweeter than i would even use on pancakes) we dont have a hope. I just moved to a smaller city and to add insult to injury, they even screwed up Starbucks coffee which i had gone to because at least it is (usually) not watery… I took it back to counter and she remade a pot stating that the boss said to use that amount of coffee..and when brewed with more it was good. (what does that tell ya?)
    And at T.H. the issues isnt 20 min fresh… the coffee sucks fresh or old.
    And I actually tried drinking tea but it is basically the same story…

  26. I totally agree with most of the above! ; with Tim Hortons AND most other places too. HAPPY TO HEAR SEVERAL AGREE THAT COFFEE SUCKS EVERYWHERE. What is so annoying is that when coffee is brewed with too little coffee, it gets a strong chemical taste, so people think its too strong and complain so they use less coffee. TO GET RID OF THAT AWFUL ‘COFFEE WASHED THROUGH GROUNDS WEAK AND CHEMICAL TASTE, YOU HAVE TO ADD MORE COFFEE NOT LESS!… They (T.H.) recently added the dark roast so for a few weeks at least there was a bit of a ‘bite’ to it like it should be, but had one yesterday and it tasted wishy washy again and I left it as usual. McDonalds had great coffee when they first advertised they have changed to a good coffee.. But even when it was actually good at that time it was not consistent. One McD would be great, then the next outlet would make it too weak again. Coffee should not be clear looking in the pot! Making weak coffee is much like making watery hot chocolate!

    I THINK THERE IS A NOTION THAT THESE OUTLETS HAVE GOOD COFFEE JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE BUSY… NOT THE CASE! PEOPLE (certainly in my case) GO IN TIMS’ -TYPE PLACES BECAUSE THERE ARE NO RESTAURANTS A PERSON CAN SIT AND HAVE A COFFEE IF YOU DONT WANT A MEAL- AND THEY ARE OPEN LATE..CERTAINLY NOT BECAUSE THE COFFEE IS GOOD. Personally, I am really fed up! Something is wrong with the crops/weather where grown or something. No matter which brand we buy for home, it is pretty bad too. Every once in a while we find another good package but never consistent.
    AND ANOTHER POINT, WHY DOES A FRESHLY OPENED NEW, VACUUMED PACKED, PKG OF COFFEE HAVE NO COFFEE AROMA? There was always that great coffee aroma as far back as i can remember (not bad up to probably up to 3-5 years ago)..
    I used to purchase a brand (various) for a long period of time and it was always good. Now it is hopeless!

    And like the guy said about Tim Hortons sucking…WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO QUIT DRINKING/BUYING BAD COFFEE? I just got another brand i used to use for years and it is so awful, there is no way to brew it that it is bearable to drink. Will either return this or dump in in garbage where it belongs.

    WE NEED TO WRITE TO THE INDIVIDUAL COFFEE COMPANIES. THIS MAY GET RESULTS. But with the public dumping so much cream and sugar in coffee they don’t care what it tastes like so imagine its it may be a futile effort!

  27. I travelled Canada recently and the only decent coffee I had was from a friend with an espresso machine and imported beans. The stuff that passes off at Tim Horton’s or indeed any Canadian coffee outlet, is simply brown water and has no resemblance to coffee whatever.

  28. Time to update things. Still American owned, but now in the hands of the same people who own Burger King (in Canada). In March of 2016 all TH coffee will be terminated in favour of something far worse.
    It is called BK coffee…if you have ever tried that, it makes TH coffee look like gold!
    What are they trying to do? Go bankrupt? Or is TH intended to be a new tax write off for the BK chain???
    BK COFFEE IS THE WORST EVER!!!

  29. I work at Tim Hortons also and the person who wrote this blog should work their before saying anything because all this person knows is from the other side of the counter and shouldn’t ever think to even write again if they can’t tell the truth because people want the truth and not be lied to and I can agree the coffee is a whole different taste and if you don’t like it try DARK ROAST COFFEE it’s so much better but anyways this person who wrote this blog doesn’t know nothing and Missy 62 who wrote the comment below mine is totally right about everything they wrote and I agree with everything Missy 62 has wrote to the person who just made up a bunch of lies and obviously thinks everyone at Tim Hortons should bow to them when they walk in but guess what you ain’t no better or worth more than anyone in this world

    1. Hello.

      I am the person who wrote this post, thanks for reading.

      First off, this post is 7 years old, Dark Roast did not exist at that time.
      Secondly, Dark Roast is not an improvement. I think it represents Tim Hortons management misunderstanding what their competitors are offering.

  30. Tim Hortons totally sucks. May I have a wrap. No you cannot have a wrap. It is 10:01 and we do not serve wraps after 10pm. That’s a wrap. 🙁

  31. Tim Horton’s is like the Bud Light of coffee (that’s not a compliment either)

    Especially coming form a craft beer geek like myself, LOL

  32. My major beef with Tim’s is more to do with the service I get at my local location than the actual product. I had to wait 45 minutes during a blizzard (with only one car ahead of me, who only ordered a medium coffee) (and there was nobody in the store, either). The cashier was too busy talking to her friend about bullshit instead of serving customers. Doesn’t take 45 minutes to pour up an extra large double double, especially when the place isn’t even busy

  33. I know this lost is from like, the stone age but I work at Tim Horton’s. I’m not sure what kinda idiot employee would brew a fresh pot before serving you YOUR coffee, but that’s not how it’s supposed to work. We are supposed to put a fresh pot on before serving the next customer, but after serving our current customer.

    I work at an understaffed Tim Horton’s and have suffered for it. For example, we don’t have someone who makes our bagels and sandwiches for us…we fend for ourselves. I understand that a customer would be upset if they had to wait an extra 3 minutes for their sandwich to be made, but I sometimes get yelled at for it BY the customer. When I work counter, I take their order, make their coffee, grab their donut, and then make their sandwich. Some things are out of the employee’s control, and it’s hard to explain that.

    The “Always Fresh” thing means that our donuts and everything else isn’t stale. They do come in on shipments and we add the fondant and whatnot onto the donut, but it has a shelf life before we have to throw them away. Because of the amount we actually throw away, they have it so we make as little as possible. Therefore, if you’re going into a smaller Tim Horton’s in the afternoon, we don’t have any of the Boston Cream you were craving for. The higher-ups certainly would write us up if we made more and nobody bought any. It’s sad, really.

    Also, if it’s dead and you come through drive thru, there’s a good chance the pots would be almost expired. The higher-ups are so focused on drive thru times that we literally have no choice but to serve that coffee. If we don’t have our drive thru times under a certain amount, then we could get fired.

    I mean, I make sure pots aren’t expired but sometimes it just happens. Especially if we’re stocking or cleaning while it’s downtime. Only the super popular Tim Horton’s get renovations so everything is within reach, so the smaller ones have to suffer when new things come out. At my place, pur specialty beverage machine only has 3 slots. With 5 specialty beverages, we have to constantly switch out each hopper. We also gotta run all the way to the other side of the store when someone wants an expresso shot.

    Either way, you’re entitled to your own opinion, as I am to mine.

  34. Good article, I feel the same on most points and really have been getting fed up with Tim Hortons. The coffee really is not great its just the convenience but even that is becoming not worth all the other issues.

    The coffee is always hot, way to hot

    they never add a sleeve, always have to ask and when I forget I have to call the cashier back to either get a sleeve or double cupped. I have often gotten looks as if I just asked for some ridiculous request that should be standard.

    I don’t care much for the regular coffee (just cream) i do like the french vanila but anything else it doesnt even compare to starbucks and even mcdonalds drip coffee is much better. I have tried the lattes and I think I have only ever had 1 that was decent, others were horrible and if I had not been on the road I would have gone back for it to be remade or a refund. Safe to say I never bother with them anymore and stick to a french vaninla when I need to get anything at tim hortons. I am starting to think the hot coffee is a ploy to let customers get far away from the store before they try it, realize how bad it is and most will not drive back to have it corrected.

    Roll up the rim, i used to enjoy getting a coffee and getting to gamble at the same time. Now its not even really a gamble the odds are complete rubbish and no fun. I used to get a free coffee at least average 1 in 3 or maybe 4 cups I went out of my way to go to tim hortons while the promo is on, now I only do so when I really have no choice. Last year only 1 out of maybe 20 cups, the online roll up is even more of a joke. Many people I have spoken with did not win anything or hardly anything all 2015 and same goes for this year so far. Same goes for me, not a single win this year, granted only visited 4 times as I will go to starbucks if in town or a mcdonalds if one is near by.

    Chicken snack wraps, I often grabbed one of these and a coffee while I was out to help tie me over till I got home for something to eat. Now they have taken it off the menu, added a larger version for almost 3x the price. So now I don’t bother and that also means they loose the coffee sale also. Doesnt seem wise move to me I know they wouldn’t have been really making much off them but I am sure many also got coffees. Not only that but it really annoyed me, was the final straw that made me start going to mcdonalds for regular coffee.

    Price, as with most things price has gone up but you get drip coffee cheaper at mcdonalds and far better deal at starbucks, better service, better coffee, atmosphere and better rewards for not much more in cost if just after drip. They also regularly have promos on with great deals, and with the free drink after 12 stars, pretty much makes that extra cost break even with timmies prices or even cheaper with the promos also. Just wish they had more stores around and while on the road.

    Long lines and disorganized employees, often going into timhortons the wait is far longer then it should be. The last one I was in was horrible, single cashier with a line going out the door. I waited over 4 min at the cash while she was messing around with something with a long line behind me and no one else came on to help until about 5 min had past, even then the friend I was with (who was next after me) it took another few min before he finally walked out with his coffee and donut.

    Consistency, the lattes were always very different. Usually bad but its the fact they varied so much from store to store shows that they do not train the employees how to make them very well and they do not have good standards to follow when making them or they wouldn’t vary so much. Even if they were ok, this just makes it so you cannot trust what you will receive.

    This is an old post and Tim Hortons actually has gotten so much worse since this was posted. I hope more people see it and also try to avoid this chain and giving them support. By doing so we can only hope they will clue in and start improving things. Starbucks is my preference and is far superior to tim hortons in every respect, mcdonads for second choice for regular drip and I am sure I will start trying other locations. If tim hortons continues to go downhill like this I may end up having to go further out of my way to get a coffee while on the road to avoid supporting them. If you are in a city though there are so many better choices.

  35. Tim Hortins is the worst coffee and people who drink it don’t know any better. They use a chemical additive as well that makes the coffee taste like coffee. Tim Hortins is good for one thing and thats the medical business who will be seeing patients in the near future who eat and drink they’re GMO crap.

  36. Tim Horton’s isn’t owned by Wendy’s in 1995, Tim Horton’s merged with Wendy’s but continues to operate separately. Plus Tim Horton’s is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    In 2014, Burger King bought Tim Horton’s. So since 2014 Tim Horton’s isn’t a canadian company.

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