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British media mock arrival of Tim Hortons

"The Canadians are coming! Saddle up your moose," teases U.K. outlets
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“Saddle up your moose”: Tim Hortons opens in Glasgow, U.K., this spring. | Submitted


Canada’s Tim Hortons doughnut and coffee chain will open the brand’s first U.K. outlet as part of a planned year-long rollout.

Early reaction in online British media mocked the move.

“The Canadians are coming! Saddle up your moose, grab your ice hockey stick and crank up the Shania Twain – our colonial cousins’ biggest coffee and donut shop is heading to our shores,” blazed Gizmodo UK.

The Daily Mirror expressed confusion over “TimBits,” a Tim Hortons signature. “If you have ever wondered what happens to the inside of holed treats, you now know some end up as Timbits,” the newspaper explained. 

Glasgow will host Great Britain’s first Tim Hortons this spring with a countrywide expansion in the next 12 months for the chain, which claims to serve eight out of every 10 cups of coffee in Canada.

“If you know any Canadians living in Britain, go and tell them now, as they’ll suddenly become very, very excited,” Gizmodo advised its readers. 

Tim Hortons, named after the professional ice hockey player, is owned by Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which was formed in 2014 when private equity group 3G Capital – the controlling shareholder of Burger King since 2010 – merged the fast-food business with Tim Hortons.

Expansion out of North America could be key for the company, given research that suggests sales of coffee from outlets might post flat growth in the U.S. in 2017.

The company said the U.K. was the first European country it had targeted and the rollout would be handled by SK Group, a franchise operator that played a major role in the expansion of Domino’s Pizza into Britain.

RBI has 23,000 restaurants located in more than 100 countries.

In February, the company also bought Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a 2,600-outlet  restaurant chain with a presence in 26 countries, for US$1.8 billion. 

The first Popeyes outlet in Calgary opened in December 2016 as part of a national expansion of the wildly popular chain.