Franchisee dissatisfaction with Tim Hortons’ management and hefty cost-cutting measures appear to be hurting the coffee giant’s reputation among Canadians, according to a new survey.
Tim Hortons took a dramatic tumble when it fell from 4th place last year to 50th in an annual ranking of the most admired companies in Canada.
The survey, conducted by Leger in partnership with National Public Relations and The Globe and Mail, ranked the top 100 companies in Canada out of 241 businesses in 28 sectors. Each company was assessed by approximately 2,100 consumers online from Dec. 19 to Jan. 29.
Christian Bourque, the executive vice president of Leger, attributes Tim Hortons’ drop in public opinion to the recent “minimum wage war” in Ontario.
In January, the restaurant chain faced backlash after a number of franchisees in the province cut workers’ benefits to offset the higher wage costs. Boycotts and protests across the province slammed franchisees and the company’s corporate parent, Restaurant Brand International, for failing to come up with a better response to the province’s move.
Although the controversy was centred in Ontario, Bourque said in the introduction to the survey that the effect on its brand was far-reaching. He noted that, in neighbouring Quebec, Tim Hortons lost 17 points in the survey from the year before.