Cold weather slowed sales at Tim Hortons last quarter

Roll-up-the-rim contest also declined in interest, prompting executives to think about overhaul

A Tim Hortons coffee shop in downtown Toronto. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima)

Cold weather and an outdated roll-up-the-rim-to-win promotion slowed sales at Canadian Tim Hortons locations in its most recent quarter, said the CEO of the coffee chain’s parent company, prompting Restaurant Brands International Inc. to revamp the contest for next year.

Comparable store sales at Tim Hortons fell 0.6 per cent worldwide, and 0.4 per cent in Canada. The company only breaks out each chain’s home market for comparable sales figures.

READ MORE: Tim Hortons opens first coffee shop in China

“I hate using weather as an excuse,” said CEO Jose Cil, who has just served his first full quarter in the top post, during a conference call with investors Monday morning.

The company estimates severe winter weather during the quarter, which ended March 31, resulted in a drag of about one per cent on comparable sales.

The weather woes started in the back half of January and lasted until the end of February, said Alex Macedo, Tim Hortons president, in an interview following the conference call, and impacted performance across Canada.

A weak roll-up-the-rim campaign also contributed to the negative figure.

RBI started to see a decline in the program’s effectiveness last year, said Cil, and decided to expand the number of giveaways for 2019’s contest. However, the added investment did not drive the engagement the company expected and dragged down comparable sales about 0.5 per cent over the quarter.

“It’s become clear to us that it needs a modern and fresh approach to engage our guests in a stronger way going forward,” he said. A team is working to reboot the program for next year and that will include a seamless digital integration.

Comparable sales at the company’s two other chains were positive. Burger King comparable sales increased 2.2 per cent. Popeyes comparable sales increased 0.6 per cent.

Cil stressed the company does not believe that the negative comparable sales figure for Tim Hortons accurately reflects the underlying strength of the Canadian business and said the company expects its April comparable sales to come in at about 1.5 per cent.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read