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Tim Hortons to launch new drive-thru format in the US

The Canadian coffee chain is planning to continue its US expansion with customer experience, operator efficiency and dining convenience the foundations for two new store models that will debut this summer

The first drive-thru only model will open this summer with additional openings planned throughout 2022 | Photo credit: Tim Hortons US

Tim Hortons will launch two new next generation restaurant designs in the US this summer, with a drive-thru with a condensed 24-seat dining room and compact drive-thru only model set to open this summer.

The US division of the popular Canadian coffee chain said that the new 1,600 sq ft restaurant model offers guests an improved customer experience, whilst the drive-thru only model will deliver efficiency and speed of service.

More than 10 new model stores with a dining room have been built since 2020, with an expected 20 additional outlets set to debut before the end of 2022.

The drive-thru model complements the Tim Hortons app which allows customers to pre-order for pick-up, collect reward points for free items and access exclusive weekly offers. It also features a mobile pick up shelf and VIP mobile order parking spots.

Both formats will offer a revised menu that focuses on coffee and cold specialty beverages, as well as items that cater specifically to the American consumer.

The first drive-thru only model will open in this summer in several states, including West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and New York, with Tim Hortons planning further openings throughout 2022.

“This is an exciting time for Tim Hortons as we update certain aspects of our model to maximise the experience for guests and improve efficiency for the operators who are driving our expansion in the US. These two restaurant formats allow franchisees to develop a model that fits their local demand. That flexibility is key to growing our brand in various markets,” said Alexandra Caplan, Senior Manager of Business Development, Tim Hortons US.

Drive-thru is a popular coffee shop format in the US and gained further traction during the pandemic when social distancing became an important operational concern.

With more than 6,400 sites, Dunkin’ is by far the largest drive-thru operator in the US, ahead of Starbucks’ circa-4,000 locations.

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