Tim Hortons (Canada) Plans to Open 1,500 Stores in Asia
22 Aug 2018 - The president of Tim Hortons says a plan to conquer a crowded Chinese coffee market hinges on tailoring its menu to local habits and tastes — including offering congee and matcha alongside signature items such as double doubles.
President Alex Macedo believes the coffee chain’s plan to open 1,500 stores in Asia over the next decade will face lofty competition from a slew of companies who have dominated the market as the continent warms to drinking coffee.
“We are late to the game for sure,” Macedo said in an interview with the Canadian Press.
He’s made regular trips to Asia to observe the operations of rival coffee purveyors, including U.S. heavyweights Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, Beijing-based startup Luckin Coffee, and U.K. chain Costa Coffee.
“They created an atmosphere that is almost get in and get out, and it is very fast paced,” he said, noting the tables and ambience differ from that in Canadian and U.S. cafés, where patrons tend to sit and linger with their cup of java.
China’s coffee house atmosphere contrasts against the “home-y” feeling that Macedo wants to build to encourage customers to spend as much time as they’d like at Tim Hortons Asian locations, a custom popular with many Canadian Tims regulars.
“We want our team members to be the most welcoming staff in China,” said Macedo. “We want people to be able to sit in our restaurants for 10 hours if they want to with only one cup of coffee if they want to or not ordering a cup of coffee at all.”