What’s Up With The Dead Tim Hortons Menu Boards?

November 7, 2018 by Dave Haynes

I realize seeing two venues is not necessarily indicative of anything, but can’t help but wonder what’s up with the tech side of the Tim Horton’s digital menu board network.

I was in Montreal’s airport a few weeks ago and snapped a shot of the arrivals level Timmie’s stand, which had four of five screens out. I was back through there Monday and all five were dark.

Yesterday, I was upstairs in the gates area, heading home, and most of the screens at the very busy Timmie’s there were also out.

The Canadian coffee/donut chain was among the very first QSRs to invest heavily in digital menu boards, and for a bunch of years, it was pretty much bulletproof. You’d see the odd screen out, here and there. I no longer live in the cradle of Timmie’s – where there were franchises seemingly everywhere – but it sure seems like when I do see them now, the screens often have issues. This has been happening more and more in the last 2-3 years.

The chain is now owned by an investor-driven parent with a reputation for aggressive cost-cutting. 


  1. Neil Bron Chatwood says:

    As a vendor, we often get into discussions with clients revolving around annual support/service charges – usually around renewal time or when a new personality is responsible for operational budget. The conversations typically revolve around “we paid you this much money and never even call you!”. The response is, as you would expect around the value of 24/7/365 telephone based support, ongoing upgrades to software/products, etc. Most clients come around to seeing the value of AMS, more so when you can provide a full list of the times they’ve actually contacted the helpdesk/upgraded software.

    That said, there are clients who will just downright refuse to pay ongoing software/maintenance costs, which is symptomatic of wider cuts within an organisation. It’s a sorry state for a network to be in. A lot of hard work goes into the roll-out of nationwide networks, and to see them offline for the sake of a relativity small sum is hard to watch. Let’s hope the owners/integrators/vendors can turn this around!

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