Tim Hortons, a cult favorite in Canada known for its coffee and doughnuts, will begin opening restaurants in the U.K. next year as part of a global expansion.
Gurprit Dhaliwal will be the chief executive officer of the master-franchise joint venture, responsible for developing Tim Hortons in Britain, according to Restaurant Brands International Inc., the Oakville, Ontario-based company that owns the chain.
“It’s a big market with lots of potential for us,” Restaurant Brands CEO Daniel Schwartz said in an interview. “It has a strong and growing coffee culture, so it was a natural fit for the Tims brand.”
Tim Hortons has had fits and starts trying to expand in the U.S. since opening its first store there in 1984. It even tried co-branding with Cold Stone Creamery to drum up interest among Americans. In 2014, Burger King bought Tim Hortons, part of a deal that the burger chain used to form a new parent company with a Canadian headquarters. The coffee chain also has stores in the Middle East and will be opening locations in the Philippines.
Burger King has restaurants in the U.K., and Tim Hortons will be facing competition from McDonald’s Corp., Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Donuts there. Tim Hortons sells breakfast sandwiches, coffee, pastries and grilled paninis.
Schwartz declined to say how many Tim Hortons are planned for the U.K.
“Our larger competitors have several hundred restaurants in the market,” he said. “Our plans are quite ambitious.”