Tim Hortons looks to expand in Valley
By Jamison Cocklin
Tim Hortons, the Canada-based cafe and bake shop with locations throughout the northeastern United States is looking to expand its presence in Ohio by offering franchise opportunities in the Mahoning Valley.
Currently, the company has 26 locations in the state, with most clustered around Columbus.
But as the franchise has made a slow crawl from Maine all the way to West Virginia, it now wants a piece of the markets in Northeast Ohio.
In recent months, the company has been running advertisements in the Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana area. Known for its coffee and home-style baked goods and lunches, Hortons primarily competes with Dunkin’ Donuts in other states such as Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.
“There’s a lot of opportunity in the U.S. to expand our franchise,” said Karen Ticchioni, who works in human resources at the company’s regional office in Dublin, a Columbus suburb. “We’re always looking to explore those options as much as we can.”
Ticchioni added the Ohio locations have performed well. She also said the Dublin office is responsible for fielding inquiries and aiding franchises as far north as Maine. This, she said, is one likely reason for the company’s plan to expand within the Buckeye State.
Company officials at the corporate headquarters in Ontario, Canada, would not answer specific questions Monday about why an advertising initiative was under way in the Valley or why the markets here are attractive for Tim Hortons locations, but they did acknowledge that opportunities are available.
An initial investment for a Tim Hortons franchise varies depending on a proprietor’s choices and needs, according to the company’s website. The total investment costs between $409,200 and $655,700.
The chain offers a franchise-incentive program, which provides short-term financing for startup costs. For those who qualify, everything from royalty payments to property costs are reduced during a 12-month period.
In any event, depending on the franchise package that is purchased, potential candidates would need between $67,000 and $272,700 in capital to qualify for starting a franchise.
This pales in comparison with the company’s competitor, Dunkin’ Donuts, which prefers $500,000 in capital on hand to start such a franchise.
Ticchioni said she expected the company to continue expanding throughout the Northeast. Tim Hortons is the largest quick-service restaurant chain in Canada, according to its website.