Tim Hortons owner eyes U.S. expansion
TORONTO — The parent company of Tim Hortons and Burger King sees fertile ground for rapid expansion for both chains in the United States, regardless of uncertainty around what policies President Donald Trump will implement during his tenure.
The United States is “one of the biggest opportunities” for expanding the coffee and burger chains, Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International Inc., said in an interview.
Tim Hortons had 683 U.S. locations as of Dec. 31, 2016, according to financial documents. Burger King’s U.S. operations had more than 7,000 restaurants as of Dec. 31, 2015, according to the most recent filing that separates the States from other markets.
Schwartz said Tim Hortons “should be many, many times our current size” there, but added there’s no target number.
He said that the plan has not changed since Trump’s election in November or several controversial executive orders that the president has signed since moving into the White House in January.
“We want to expand our brands all around the world and that also doesn’t change based on the political environment,” Schwartz said.
RBI is also intent on rapidly expanding Tim Hortons around the world, signing three separate master franchise joint venture agreements to bring the chain to the Philippines, Great Britain and Mexico. The company expects to open the first locations in some of those markets this year, said chief financial officer Josh Kobza.
Schwartz is the latest head of a major Canadian company to offer insight on how they view Trump’s election, with many seeing his expected policies as positive for their bottom lines.
Last week, the CEOs of Air Canada and WestJet Airlines both expressed hope that the airline industry in Canada could benefit from Trump’s policies.
WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said uncertainty around new U.S. border policies could increase foreign tourist interest in Canada.