Canadian Manufacturing

Tim Hortons announces layoffs at HQ, regional operations

Unspecified number of jobs cut as the food and coffee mega chain declined to offer specific details



TORONTO—Tim Hortons is refusing to say how many employees will lose their jobs at its headquarters and regional offices in a reorganization of its operations announced January 27.

While no numbers were given, it’s expected that hundreds of jobs could be impacted.

Tim Hortons has five warehouse distribution centres located in Calgary; Guelph and Kingston, Ont.; Debert, N.S.; and Aldergrove, B.C.

The licensing company for Tim Hortons franchises employs 1,800 people in office jobs, distribution centres and manufacturing facilities, according to its website.

Tim Hortons, which was taken over by Burger King Worldwide Inc. last year, has been widely expected to cut office jobs.

While the company plans to keep its headquarters in Oakville, Ont., staff outside its restaurants were not protected under a promise by Burger King to maintain jobs at Tim Hortons franchises across Canada for five years.

A spokeswoman for the coffee chain said Tuesday it’s “still in the process” of notifying staff members who will be affected by widespread changes to its Oakville, Ont., offices and regional offices across the country.

She declined to offer any details.

“We’re not in the position to confirm the number of people impacted,” Alexandra Cygal said in an email.

The reorganization creates “tremendous opportunities for some of our employees in new roles and promotions,” Cygal said.

The combination of Burger King and Tim Hortons, together called Restaurant Brands International, is part of what leaders at the company say is a more aggressive expansion of the coffee brand into international markets.

Since the merger was announced last year, some analysts and franchisees have raised concerns over the reputation of 3G Capital, the Brazilian investment firm that owns roughly 70 per cent of the merged company.

3G Capital is known for stripping the assets of acquired companies to boost profits. It layed off thousands of employees at food company Heinz and beer company Anheuser-Busch when it took over those operations.

When Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz took the leadership role at the merged chain, the changes began to take place almost immediately with the departure of two longtime Tim Hortons executives.

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