While America may “run on Dunkin’,” Canada, one could say, runs on Tim Hortons. The coffee and doughnut chain is a favorite among proud Canadians and many northern-border-dwelling Americans, too. Tim Horton’s already has locations in 11 states, but the Canadian chain now plans a full-on expansion across the United States in the near future.
Burger King Worldwide acquired Tim Hortons in 2014 in a $12.5 billion merger criticized widely as a corporate inversion likely intended to lower Burger King's tax bill. While the coffee side of the company has eyed a nationwide expansion since then, the intended increased footprint comes after CEO Daniel Schwartz doubled down on the notion following a recent softer-than-expected quarterly earnings report. “We think the Tim Hortons brand should be everywhere in the U.S. […] We’re always focused on finding new markets,” Schwartz assured investors. The chain also announced plans to hit the UK market in August. Oddly enough, Tim Hortons shut down 21 stores in Maine and New York a year ago.
So what’s so great about Tim Hortons? Well, like any New Englander’s love of Dunkin’ Donuts or Angeleno’s affinity for In-N-Out burgers, it’s not really founded on superiority as much as comfortability. I will say, having spent my college years in the Great Lakes region, and now having the option of either Hortons or Dunkin’ when I pass through Penn Station, I’ve experienced both chains and they’re both… fine enough. Neither store’s coffee will satisfy aficionados, but in a pinch you can get quick hit of caffeine and sugar. It really just does come down to preference. The question remains, will enough Americans prefer the new kid on the block?