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Tim Hortons, The Untold Story

May 27, 2010

How can something be sold, go corporate, be sold, go corporate, be sold yet again and this is considered a success???

This is the second attempt after being shut down, with threats and the use of trademark infringement to stop us from telling our story. This is a story about a franchise. One that was started many years ago with the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player Tim Horton and the stores that followed in his name.

First and foremost, this is not meant to bash or say bad things as the products are good and store owners are doing their very best to try to make a living selling a good product. What this site is about is the current state of this franchise and the laws that are in place that don’t protect the franchisees. We will share our story and the lawsuit that followed so we can help the current store owners so they are fully aware of what will happen to them once their operations fail and the steps the company will take to make them sign a confidentiality agreement and the timeline that it will follow. My family has nothing left to lose and the threats of  Tim Hortons do not scare us as the sharing of information is the most important aspect. The only thing Tim Hortons is afraid of is the sharing of information. If every person involved in this company would share what’s happening I’m sure the tactics that they use would stop. The power of everyone coming together is strong and the fact some store owners are being given special deals while others are not?? For the store owners who think that the deal they are being given will stay in place forever, you are wrong. When your time is up in the system they will turn on you and you will now be left in a situation where you are truly alone and now this website will be your information booklet. As store owners you have to see how other store owners were treated and what kind of deals they had in place, why is everyone signing the same contract yet paying different fees or not paying rent at all.

Kept Private, Concession, Default Notices  .pdf  This is a concession letter here. In court Tim Hortons stated that every store owner knew what deal another owner was getting. Also default notices, look at the amount they send out putting pressure on you the entire time you run the business. Read court transcripts and see how Tim Hortons can lie in court and have a Judge (Joyal) believe everything they say.

If you do not go public and get a TV station involved in your situation, this is what the outcome will be for you and your family. This is not a story of success but a story of failure and the complete destruction of a family. I thank all store owners (current and past) who shared their information with us. Anyone wanting to share information with us can contact us through the site and know your identity will be kept private. We have been overwhelmed with people asking us for our help. The best way we can help you is to share our information and let prospective franchisees get the true information and help guide them with the proper questions to ask and the right lawyer and accountants to see. The contract should be examined carefully, preferably taken to a contract lawyer (you will not sign this if you do!).

If you’re just interested and want to know what really goes on, please post a comment and tell us what you think. We all live in a free country here in Canada and we’d like to think that freedom of speech is alive and well and some corporation with deep pockets can’t scare us or a host to shut the site down and prevent the truth from being told. Thank you to everyone for your support and we will in turn be the bridge to bring everyone together and to get the truth out there for the public to see.

We will not sign a confidentiality agreement to let this keep happening. Although our family has lost everything, we have not lost hope and we have not stopped wanting to help others with our experience. Our case was not successful and we ran out of money to continue to pursue this. But a conference was held on franchising and our case was front and centre, and this is what they thought of the judge’s decision;

Canadian Franchise Association Legal Day – March 3, 2009


It appears that in Manitoba, at least, a franchise agreement does not impose obligations of utmost good faith on the parties. The contention that it does was advanced by the franchisees and related parties in The TDL Group Ltd. v. Zabco Holdings Inc.The trial judge refused to follow the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Machias v. Mr. Submarine, stating that the franchisor-franchisee relationship is an ordinary commercial one that gives rise to the simple duty to perform the contract in good faith, but not to a higher duty than that. Nor was the franchisor a fiduciary of the franchisee. Accordingly, the franchisor did not owe a pre-contractual duty to warn the franchisee about the vicissitudes of carrying on business in Winnipeg; nor did it owe the franchisee a higher duty than to act reasonably and honestly during the performance of the contract.

To read all of this report follow this link; http://www.gowlings.com/resources/PublicationPDFs/LevittN_Mar2009.pdf

Take a look around the site and tell us what you think. Take a look at the operation of the store and see that almost everything is a fixed cost in a 24/7 operation. The only thing that changes on a day-to-day basis is the volume of traffic your store has and the cost of goods to run it. If you’re a current store owner and your cost of goods exceeds the 30-32% range than you simply aren’t making money. The only thing that you need to share with other store owners is your sales and your cost of goods. If they are above this and the only company you purchase goods from is Tim Hortons then you know you are in serious trouble. If your rent or royalties have already been reduced then you are already in serious trouble. Everyone in the system needs to share what deal they get with one another so everyone is on the same playing field. Here in Manitoba every store had a different deal and we will show the transcripts of our trail about the concessions that are required just so you can stay in business.

As you can read from the above statement, Tim Hortons does not have to tell you that other stores are in trouble or if they are being resold over and over again. Thank you for visiting and check back often as we will continue to post more and more information for you to view. We appreciate all comments and have some video to show of our parents and how it has affected their health and stolen the best years of their lives.

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