Tim Hortons Expands Into China

Canadian coffee company plans to open 1,500 stores across Asia in the next 10 years.

August 21, 2018

TORONTO – Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee-and-donut chain, says it will open 1,500 stores in China beginning next year. China—with the world’s second-largest economy—is experiencing a booming café culture, and Tim Hortons hopes the expansion will help with rising competition and provide a reputation boost.

Tim Hortons restaurants in China will keep beverage offerings the same but will feature products that are customized for the local market, including matcha tea and the Asian-style rice porridge congee. Tim Hortons President Alex Macedo noted that Chinese consumers don’t eat baked goods or doughnuts as frequently as Canadians.

“One [part of the strategy] is improving and increasing our leadership in Canada, and the second is taking a little bit of Canada to the world,” Macedo told Reuters in an interview at the parent company’s Oakville, Ontario, headquarters.

Macedo already has visited China, looking at already established coffee competitors in the Chinese market such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s. The 1,500-store expansion is possible thanks to an agreement with private equity firm Cartesian Captial Group.