Tim Hortons to open 1,500 stores in China

Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Hortons announced Wednesday it will open more than 1,500 branches in China over the next decade.

“China’s population and vibrant economy represent an excellent growth opportunity for Tim Hortons in the coming years,” said Alex Macedo, president of the company known for its coffee and donuts.

“We have already seen Canada’s Chinese community embrace Tim Hortons and we now have the opportunity to bring the best of our Canadian brand to China,” his statement said.

Burger King bought the chain in 2014 for CAN$12.5 billion (US$11.4 billion), and Tim Hortons now boasts 4,700 locations worldwide, mostly in Canada and the United States.

The chain — named after its creator, former professional ice hockey player Tim Horton — has become a staple along Canada’s roadways since opening its first counter in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario.

The company came under fire earlier this year when some franchise owners reduced employee breaks to compensate for Ontario’s rising minimum wage.

Silence from the company’s headquarters sparked calls to boycott the restaurant, causing its popularity among Canadians to drop in polls. (AFP) Photo by MSVG