Tim Horton’s Rolling Out Dining Area Network

January 10, 2014 by Dave Haynes

TimsTVThe ubiquitous Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons is adding an in-store TV channel, layering that on top of the pioneering digital menu board network (they were doing digital menu boards years ahead of most QSR).

TimsTV will start rolling out in stores next month, on the heels of a 50-store pilot run last year in London, Ontario, where Timmy’s software vendor EK3 has its main offices.

Glenn Hollis, vice-president, brand strategy at Tim Hortons, told Marketing magazine “that the company created the channel to share things like news, weather and sports highlights with guests. It will appear on TVs in the seating areas of select Canadian restaurants.”

The report goes on to say the content will come from CBC/Ici Radio-Canada and be localized by market. The network will be managed by EK3 and its new masters Cineplex.

When the pilot was announced last summer (totally missed the announcement), Timmy’s said:

“For thousands of Canadians, Tim Hortons is their home away from home every single day,” says Glenn Hollis, Vice President, Brand Strategy & Digital, Tim Hortons. “We’re proud to serve our loyal guests each day and we want to be able to share an entertaining behind-the-scenes look into our world and tell the stories that matter to them.”

The program segments will span a range of topics from introducing new menu items to telling entertaining stories of Canadians across the country to highlighting how Tim Hortons is Making a True Difference in the communities it serves.   

“Ultimately, the goal of TimsTV is to bring communities across Canada closer together, as stories from distant neighbours are brought closer to home,” explains Hollis.  “Together with our guests, we have thousands of relevant stories to share and TimsTV is an ideal vehicle in which to bring those stories to life.”  

The coffee chain is very, very active in communities with sports programs and has cancer camps for kids in different parts of the country, so this is a great way to communicate all that good work.

Interestingly, and I know this from direct experience working with the company, they weren’t previously interested in doing anything digital in the dining areas. That’s clearly changed, possibly because the digital menu-board rollout is now done (and some execs have changed).

It looks like there will also be an ad component, which is a very big change in attitude. Not sure I would go there, but …

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