Some Tims raise prices on some break­fast items af­ter min­i­mum wage hike

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS -

TORONTO — Some Tim Hor­tons lo­ca­tions have in­creased prices on their break­fast menus, its par­ent com­pany said Fri­day, but made no con­nec­tion to the min­i­mum wage con­tro­versy that’s landed the brand in hot wa­ter.

“Reg­u­lar ad­just­ments to menu prices are a nor­mal part of the restau­rant busi­ness,” Restau­rant Brands In­ter­na­tional of Oakville said in a brief state­ment af­ter some so­cial me­dia users com­plained of price hikes.

“Some restau­rants in se­lect mar­kets have slightly in­creased prices for some break­fast menu items.”

The in­creases come af­ter the com­pany faced a back­lash from con­sumers when it was re­vealed some fran­chisees cut em­ployee ben­e­fits to off­set the im­pact of min­i­mum wage hikes in On­tario, which in­creased to $14 per hour from $11.60 — a 21-per-cent jump — on Jan. 1.

Some On­tario Tim Hor­tons fran­chisees elim­i­nated paid breaks, fully-cov­ered health and den­tal plans, and other perks for their work­ers, changes that came to light af­ter a let­ter from the own­ers of two fran­chisees in Cobourg cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia.

Since then, an­gry con­sumers have taken to so­cial me­dia and en­cour­aged others to #Boy­cottTimHor­tons to put pres­sure on the chain to re­verse the changes.

Pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side Tim Hor­tons lo­ca­tions across On­tario this week, with hopes such ral­lies will send a mes­sage to fran­chisees and par­ent com­pany Restau­rant Brands In­ter­na­tional.

RBI has de­nounced the ac­tions of some fran­chisees, who have said they have been left with no choice be­cause the par­ent com­pany, which con­trols prod­uct pric­ing, has not com­mit­ted to a price hike.

The owner of the en­tire chain said last week that ac­tion by cer­tain fran­chisees didn’t re­flect its val­ues. Tim Hor­tons said in­di­vid­ual fran­chisees are re­spon­si­ble for set­ting em­ployee wages and ben­e­fits, while com­ply­ing with ap­pli­ca­ble laws.

The Great White North Fran­chisee As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents half of Cana­dian Tim Hor­tons fran­chisees, said it hoped RBI would lower sup­ply costs, re­duce coupon­ing or raise prices.

When it did not, the as­so­ci­a­tion said, many fran­chisees were “left no al­ter­na­tive but to im­ple­ment cost sav­ing mea­sures in or­der to sur­vive.”

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