Tim Hortons Set to Open 1500 Stores in China

Canada’s favourite Brazilian brand wants to expand

Restaurant Brands International (QSR) has announced today that they’re expanding the Tim Hortons banner to over 1500 restaurants in China within the next decade.

Instead of offering all restaurants up for franchising, RBI has elected to partner with a private equity firm (Cartesian Capital Group) to help it finance, develop, and open the restaurants. When I first heard this, I was a bit skeptic: Tim Hortons has had a negative persona around it lately (especially in Canada) and I thought they would hold off on expansion for the time being (especially internationally) and fix some of their problems at home.

However, as a publicly-traded company, RBI has undoubtedly realized that 1500 new restaurants has a better return on investment (ROI) compared to renovating restaurants or fixing perceptions of the company in Canada – although they announced that they plan to do both.

Time will tell, but I am at least happy RBI chose to partner with Cartesian Capital Group (CCG) for an expansion into China. Why? Because they have experience. CCG led the expansion of Burger King (also an RBI brand) into China, so one would imagine they have some experience with the suppliers, distributors, employees, along with a general knowledge of culture to ensure this expansion is worthwhile.

Also announced: The drink line-up will remain the same in China, but the food line-up will be customized for the country.