Tim Hortons has expanded quite rapidly over the last 5 - 8 years in terms of number of locations and food selections, offering more than just coffee and donuts but all sorts of sandwiches, soups and of course wraps. In terms of business potentials, one can clearly see from its constant queues almost in every single outlets across the nation. While one may judge by such observations as a positive sign, a simple act of actually queuing up for a cup of coffee would prove you otherwise, unfortunately!
Their potential will be hindered unless there is a significant improvement on staff training and particularly on efficiency! It is a fast food business after all! Over the past 3 weeks, I have visited quite a few Tim Hortons in different provinces (namely Ontario & British Columbia) and almost in all instances (both peak and non-peak hours) there were long queues. Queues can be a sign of good business but when one can see 4 - 5 staff behind the counter, 2 cashiers taking orders, being 2 in line, I had to wait ... let me see ... 00:12:23 (hh:mm:ss) for a single large cup of coffee that cost around CAD 1.57 + tax??!!! The same applies to the person in front of me who waited 00:13:12 for her single cup of mediocre coffee and good luck to the 10 lining up behind me!
I thought being in Hong Kong for so many years, I have lost the sense of so-called patience but I was not the only one complaining, the customer in front and behind me whispered "Oh my dear," "amazing! what are they doing?" "Are you serious?" "Can this line up another slower?" "Sigh ... sigh." Just to be fair, such situation happened not once, not twice but almost 95% of my visits in the last 3 weeks! In different provinces as well! Not an isolated happening here, trust me! Either there is something wrong with their division of labour or simply incorrect resources allocation.
For the time of 00:12:23, I could have gone to Starbucks 100m away, got my coffee, finished it while reading the entire sport section of any newspaper! When loyal customers are willing to wait in line for a single cup of overly sweet and creamy coffee, please don't ruin it by putting precious patience on the line! When the queue extends to about 15 people, please step it up, walk a tiny bit faster, grab that donut just a bit faster and pour the coffee (and push that cream + sugar dispenser button) a little bit faster. Am I overly demanding? Perhaps, but when one has to wait this long for a cup of not so great coffee, the loyal customers queue will start to diminish faster than one would expect. The familiarity / sense of belonging card will no longer of any value, once it is gone, it is gone.
A note of personal opinion, please don't jeopardize a potentially great Canadian franchise in the making with the current service level.
Feel free to share your experience because I know I am not alone on this ... ... usual rant of mine?