North American donut bites and coffee chain Tim Hortons expands into UK

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Tim Hortons operates almost 4,500 sites in US, Canada and Middle east
Tim Hortons operates almost 4,500 sites in US, Canada and Middle east
Canadian and US restaurant chain Tim Hortons – known for its Timbits donut bites – is extending into the UK market.

The brand, which is part of Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International (RBI), has announced the establishment of a joint venture with an investor in the UK.

The joint venture company will be the master franchisee of the Tim Hortons brand in England, Scotland and Wales, and will be responsible for developing and growing the brand in the market.

RBI said the deal was part of its plans to take the Tim Hortons brand around the world. This brand already has almost 4.500 restaurants across Canada, the US and the Middle East, and last month announced a master franchise joint venture agreement to develop in the Philippines.

The company – which said it will bring some of its signature products to British consumers - described the UK an attractive quick-serve restaurant market with a strong and growing coffee culture.

It is a natural fit for the brand​," said Restaurant Brands International CEO Daniel Schwartz.

The UK joint venture company will be led by CEO Gurprit Dhaliwal, who added that the business will focus on delivering “great products and an exceptional guest experience​”.

Restaurant Brands International describes itself as one of the world's largest quick-service restaurant companies with more than $23bn sales and around 19,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and US territories.

The Tim Horton business - and what is a 'Timbit'?

Timbits donuts are sold in a range of flavors

The Tim Horton restaurant brand was launched in 1964 when Tim Horton, a National Hockey League star, opened the first store in Hamilton Canada. Coffee and donuts cost 10¢ each.

In 1976 the business launched the Timbit donut bites that are now sold in a range of snack pack sizes in flavors including Apple Fritter, Honey Dip, Old Fashion Plain and Sour Cream Glazed.

Tim Hortons extended into the US in the 1980s and the following decade merged with Wendy’s.

Burger King and 3G Capital acquired Tim Hortons in 2014 to form Restaurant Brands International.

The current Tim Horton menu includes coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks, specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled panini and sandwiches, wraps, soups and other food products.

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