It’s a Canadian icon, one of the largest corporations in the country and an integral part of our plans to take over american business (especially coffee). Yes, I am speaking of Tim Hortons, the gold standard in coffee shops in this wonderful country of ours (Canada that is, just to clarify for any of you foreign visitors).
So, now time to get onto the topic at hand. I have for the past few years found that the quality of Tim Hortons coffee has gone downhill, as has their service, food quality and the value. Oh, and don’t get me started on Roll Up the Rim to Win… 2/30 this year.
Let me start with the coffee, since it is their speciality. More often then nought recently, I have found the the coffee has had a burnt taste and on numerous occasions contained coffee grounds. I know they like to push their “Always Fresh” policy, where each pot of coffee should be served within 20 minutes of brewing. So with said policy in place, one has to wonder how they get a burnt flavour… unless it comes down to the cleaning of the machine and carafe.
Service, it used to be a strong point in Tims favour, now it seems to be an after thought. I frequent the same location near work a few times a week, and have noticed that the wait times, both in-store and at the drive-thru, are to a point bordering on ridiculous. In-store has seen me (and others) wait 5-10 minutes, with the same person that takes your order, making it… which I find slows things down, and the Drive-thru, normally well staffed has seen wait times of 7-15 minutes… yes, I waited 7 minutes between placing my order and getting my coffee, and I was the 3rd car in the line!
The food quality, well… that dropped when the doughnut size started getting smaller (see the bit about value) and when they switching in 2006 to using the centrally made made pastries, which get frozen and then shipped to each store. I no longer buy any doughnuts… unless I’m really desperate or hungry.
Lastly, the value is gone. The pre-made, smaller doughnuts… and the cup size change, although it looks like a deal, was carefully attached to a price change. What most people used to consider an Extra Large, became a Large… but kept the Extra Large price… the same filtered down to the other sizes… size got bumped up, as did the price, but they marketed the change using a “You can continue to order the same coffee” campaign. This also was a careful ploy to get us buying larger coffees… and getting addicted to the larger drinks.