Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tim Hortons franchisees rebel

A group of Canadian holders of Tim Hortons franchises has hired a lawyer to challenge the managers who took over when Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Group of Brazil bought the chain in 2014 and merged it with Burger King.

The group which calls itself the Great White North Franchisee Association claims the 3G managers of Restaurant Brands International Inc. are destroying the chain by cost cutting that is lowering quality.

The Globe and Mail reports it obtained a March 10 letter that outlines the complaints about using cheaper, lower quality products and equipment, including coffee pots that are made of “subpar or thinner glass” and break; hot holding trays that crack under heat; cups for Iced Capp frozen coffee drinks with thin walls that crush when lids are applied; and holiday mugs that were recalled due to poor quality and unavailable at the height of the Christmas season.

The Globe and Mail previously reported how the management team was fired and replaced with recent business-school graduates devoted to cost-cutting goals.

Those huge changes “have shaken the system, threatened the brand and affected the ability of franchisees to carry on viable businesses,” John Sotos of law firm Sotos LLP, which represents the association, says in the letter, which is addressed to RBI chief executive officer Daniel Schwartz, Tim Hortons president Elias Diaz and company lawyers.