Tim Hortons has always been just coffee and donuts. A Canadian institution, the chain is responsible for teaching people about the wonders of the ‘Double-Double’ and has focused on their current clientele of farmers, hockey buffs, soccer moms, and small town folks. In short, the chain is about the simpler things in life – until now anyway.
Enter Tim Hortons 2.0. A concept store in Toronto’s Metro Toronto Convention Center, the new and improved Tim Hortons is looking to tap into what retail might term a ‘trendier’ demographic. Although the concept store is only open to store owners and suppliers at this point, it’s giving everyone a taste of what’s to come for the biggest coffee and doughnut shop in Canada – and what’s to come seems to be wait staff and the possibility of a side of alcohol.
At the new Tim Hortons you’ll be invited in to sit down, select something from the menu, and be served by Tim Hortons’ staff in ultra-modern outfits complete with traditional visor. In addition to being able to order omelets, crepes, cupcakes, or new and improved cookies on a touch screen menu, there will be coffee and strawberry flavoured beer on tap.
Although there is a definite trend in the microbrewery market toward flavored beer, it seems like a bit of stretch that people would want to visit a Tim Hortons for it, especially when it comes in a coffee flavor. But the real problem with Tim Hortons serving alcohol isn’t just how strange coffee beer would taste. The issue for some people, because Tim Hortons is a chain that’s always involved a ‘grab and go’ mentality and prides itself of serving your coffee and doughnuts fast, is what will happen when the grab and go experience includes alcohol?
Yes, the Tim Hortons concept store involves a sit down and enjoy experience, but if these items are added to existing store menus across Canada, chances are people will grab and go with their beer too. That can lead to drinking and driving, and in a country where over 1000 people lost their lives in 2010 due to impaired driving, changing the menu at a fast food restaurant to include alcohol isn’t a good idea.