Tuesday 18 January 2022

Tim Hortons’ stores in North America to reopen soon says parent company’s CEO

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TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – The CEO of Restaurant Brands International Inc., the parent of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, has announced plans for reopening its nearly 15,000 stores across North America. In an open letter, RBI Chief Executive Jose Cil details how the brand has changed operations for reopening.

“In times of crisis, you rely heavily on what you believe in,” Cil wrote in the letter. “We believe in the power of creativity and diversity of perspectives. This means finding ways to do things differently to make them better. And that a wide range of voices and perspectives makes us stronger. Both have been proudly on display during these past weeks,” Cil wrote.

To develop the brand’s new operation standards, Cil said the company’s 30 “most-senior” leaders globally have met virtually each day for two months. He credited the input of leaders in Asia with helping North American stores develop workable COVID-19-era practices, since the virus first emerged in humans last year in the city of Wuhan in southeastern China.

RBI and its brands have taken on a new level of flexibility to adapt to the needs customers have in a pandemic-ridden world.

“We have fully embraced the notion that parts of our restaurants need to change — certainly, for the foreseeable future and possibly forever,” Cil said in the letter. “For instance, while we have mandated masks and gloves in the short-term, our brand and operations teams are now evaluating more comfortable and reusable masks that may become part of our standard uniforms”.

“We have rapidly scaled our digital capabilities, including adding hundreds of new restaurants onto delivery apps and improving our drive-thru experience, expanding mobile order and pay and curbside pick-up options so that we are both quick and increasingly contactless in your guest experience. There has never been a better time to embrace a business model that serves tens of millions of people a day with speed and limited contact.”

Other measures the three brands have taken since the onset of the crisis in North America include:

  • Use of acrylic shields at areas of customer/employee interaction
  • Contactless service implementation
  • In-restaurant social distancing between tables
  • Provision of dining room hand sanitizer
  • Increased sanitation/hygiene training for crews
  • Disabling of self-serve soda fountains (refills are now available by request)
  • Removal of condiments and tray bins (these are now available by request)

“So, the next time you walk into a Burger King, Tim Hortons or Popeyes dining room, we will proudly welcome you back. … ” Cil wrote.

“I believe we have the right balance between implementing essential procedures for the here and now, as well as pursuing our long-term vision of building the most loved restaurant brands in the world. And that includes re-establishing confidence and comfort in the dine-in restaurant experience. More to come.”

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