First look inside new Tim Hortons restaurant in Sheffield - ahead of opening day offers
A Canadian institution famed for its doughnuts is coming to Sheffield as its rapid expansion on these shores continues.
Tim Hortons will open its 29th UK branch and the first in Yorkshire this Thursday, June 24, from 7am, on Drake House Crescent, Waterhouse, near Crystal Peaks.
The first customer through its doors and the first in the drive-thru lane that morning will each win a year's free coffee, with a free breakfast for the first 100 diners on the day.
There will also be a special opening promotion on its breakfast meal deals for a limited period, with any main breakfast item, a hash brown and a small drink available for £1.99.
Kevin Hydes, the chain’s chief commercial officer, told how when it launched a branch a few weeks ago in Essex one woman had driven and waited in her car from 8pm the previous day to make sure she was first through the doors when it opened.
“A lot of people have very warm and fond feelings about Tim Hortons, often having experienced it in Canada, and we benefit from a really strong fanbase which helps when we launch into a new marketplace because people tell their friends and bring them along,” he said.
“A lot of customers describe us as the best quick service restaurant meets the best coffee shop. We freshly prepare our food on-site and quickly serve customers a great range of meals and drinks throughout the day.”
The new restaurant suffered a setback last month when a fire broke out inside, which Mr Hydes said had been started by vandals, but thankfully the damage was relatively minor and the planned opening date only had to be pushed back a few days.
Tim Hortons is already huge in Canada, where it was started in 1964 by the National Hockey League legend after whom it is named and there are now hundreds of branches.
It is slowly breaking into the UK, where its first branch opened in 2017 and it already has a number of restaurants in Manchester, among other locations.
Many of the meals are exactly the same as you would find in Canada, like its Boston Cream and Canadian Maple doughnuts, though the menu has been altered slightly to suit British tastes.
The chain’s signature drinks and dishes include French Vanilla and Iced Capp coffees, crispy chicken sandwiches and a wide range of freshly-made doughnuts, including its Timbits, which are mini doughnut-style cake balls containing a variety of fillings.
Its new Sheffield branch will open at 7am on the first day but after that its hours will be 6am to midnight, seven days a week.
Asked about the challenge of opening during the Covid pandemic, and he thinks the hospitality industry to bounce back, Mr Hydes said: “It’s been a challenging period for everyone in the hospitality industry. We benefit from the fact we’re a quick service restaurant and coffee shop which means customers tend to feel relatively comfortable about visiting for the time they want to, but we also offer a drive-thru service and takeaway and delivery.
“I think that as the Covid restrictions ease further we will see more and more people utilising the restaurant space.”