At the beginning of this week, everything seemed pretty normal to customers and employees of Tim Hortons shops in New York state and in Maine. Then restaurants shut down abruptly in both regions, with no warning given to customers or employees. What happened? Tim Hortons corporate up in Canada isn’t really giving a reason for the closings.
One customer in Maine said that the restaurant in Portland where he was enjoying some tea around lunchtime shut down while he was there. “The place has a few people sitting eating lunch. It starts to clear out and leaves just me and my buddy left in the place,” he recounted to the Lewiston Sun-Journal. “The lights go out and we are told to leave because the place is now closed!”
Employees didn’t get much more advance notice, and they’re left bewildered and suddenly out of work as the holiday season begins.
“They should have let people know that there was a warning of a shut down date,” one employee at a shop in New York told Time Warner Cable News. “We should have not been told the day of.”
As far as we can tell right now, the total closures on Wednesday were 15 shops in New York, and six in Maine. The company told TV station WLBZ that it plans to pull out of New England and expand elsewhere in the United States, and that it plans more closures in Providence, RI and Hartford, CT.
In a statement to Time Warner Cable News in Syracuse, New York, meanwhile, Tim Hortons didn’t confirm the total number of restaurants closed, and simply confirmed that the mass closure happened, implying that it was because of the chain’s poor performance in that region.
In line with our vision to deliver a great Guest experience while building and strengthening the Tim Hortons brand, we continuously review the performance of our restaurants. As we build the foundation for accelerated growth in the U.S., we have decided to close some restaurants in New York. We are supporting our Restaurant Owners in their transition and remain excited about the opportunities to expand the iconic Tim Hortons brand in the U.S.
We thank our guests, the restaurant Team Members and the Restaurant Owners
Customers stuck with Tim Hortons gift cards and no places nearby to use them can contact the corporate office by e-mail or at 1-888-601-1616.
Tim Hortons employee: Closures show ‘no respect’ for workers [Syracuse Post-Standard]
Tim Hortons closes a handful of Maine locations [WLBZ]