I have watched Tim Hortons go from a really nice place to go for a snack and hang-out to a place I don't want to go to at all. It's time I blogged about it.
When I was in high school I used to go to Timmies all the time with friends. I'd get a hot chocolate and two oatmeal-raisin cookies. The hot chocolate was smooth and delicious. The cookies were big and soft. Over time the cookies got smaller and harder. They were no longer appetizing.
This was long before their switch to "Always Fresh" where they stopped baking the products at the local Tim Hortons' and started baking at a central location, freezing the product, and shipping it out to the individual stores. I know a lot of people were disappointed with this change. They felt the quality of the donuts, muffins, etc. really went downhill.
Then they got new hot chocolate machines. They used to have a dedicated hot chocolate machine. Then they got machines that would dispense hot chocolate and "cappuccinos". I suspect they got a new hot chocolate formula at this time too. The quality of the drink went down the drain. I switched from hot chocolate to tea.
The nice things about tea is that I can control how long the tea has been steeping in the cup, and it's one price no matter what size you get. I like weak tea. I like the fact I can take the bag out of the cup when I want.
Then they changed that! They introduced steeped tea. I got it once. Once was enough. I couldn't finish the stuff. I had to pour it out. Oh well, I usually got Earl Grey tea anyway. Their Ear Grey tea isn't steeped. It only comes in individual bags.
Then I went in one day ready to beat the system by getting a large Earl Grey tea. I could let it steep for as little, or long, as I wanted. Then I was charged extra for the large! A large tea is not any more product than a small. It's one tea bag! The only difference is the size of the cup and the amount of water! This was the last straw. No more Tim Hortons for me! Now I only go to Tim Hortons as a last resort. Unfortunately, in Embrun there really isn't much else. If I'm willing to drive to Vars I'll go to the Country Style by the exit. (It turns out Country Style coffee is way better than Tim Hortons coffee.)
Now, they've changed the location of the sandwich bar. Jack likes to get a bagel with butter. They usually put too much butter on his bagel for his taste, so he likes to tell them to go easy on the butter. Now that they're way over behind the cash, with their back to him, it's a lot harder to ask for that. Interaction with your sandwich artist is important. They have taken that away from us.
Another thing, which may be only at the Embrun Timmies, is they no longer have napkins on the tables. That is so annoying! You're comfortably sitting down, you get some schmultz on your hands, and you have to get up, and go over to the busy counter to look for a napkin.
To recap, the ways Tim Hortons has gone downhill over the last several years are as follows:
- The Hot Chocolate quality;
- The quality of the cookies;
- The "Always Fresh"way of providing baked goods;
- Steeped Tea;
- Greedy tea pricing schemes;
- Relocation of the Sandwich Bar; and
- No more napkins on the tables.
It hasn't been all bad. In that time, Tim Hortons has introduced cappuccinos, Bagels, Sandwiches, Soups, Chilli, and made all restaurants non-smoking.
All these complaints. Tim Hortons will never listen to me. Now, if only I had a friend who worked for Tim Hortons head office.....