Why Tim Hortons finally came to London

North American restaurant chains have been springing up all over the UK and, in particular, London. But one company took its time to make the move to the capital.

by Éilis Cronin

The UK has seen an influx of North American restaurant chains emigrate to its shores. Since the introduction of McDonald’s in 1974, our little island now boasts a whole host of American eateries including Pizza Hut, Burger King, Five Guys, KFC, Dominos, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Popeyes.

Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain with outlets across the whole of North America and famous for its coffee and Timbits (small, round doughnut balls), first opened its doors to UK consumers in Glasgow five years ago. But last month, it finally opened its first London branch in Park Royal, North West London, on the site of an old Pizza Hut restaurant.

Diverse landscape

The question is; why now? “We’ve built a very diverse audience. West London has a diverse landscape and population, which is really representative of a number of other areas we operate in, particularly the West Midlands and Manchester. The population density is a bit deeper here, though, but in terms of customers it’s a pretty interesting match,” says Kevin Hydes, chief commercial officer for Tim Hortons UK & Ireland.

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