I realize most AFC readers don’t come here for donut news, but from time to time, my Canadian upbringing affects the content around here in a more visible way than just maintaining a sense of humor. As such, we bring you the developed story: Canadian donut chain Tim Horton’s opened their doors Monday, and Gothamist ran a giant feature on it, as did The Today Show [above] and other media outlets.
For those struggling to understand why Tim Horton’s donuts are so much better than Dunkin’ Donuts, let a Canadian native explain—they aren’t anymore (sorry, Canada). Tim Horton’s still maintains a slight advantage over the Dunkin’ Donuts, but the donuts are a lot smaller than they used to be and the bakeries don’t all exist in the stores anymore, so their “freshness” edge has declined. So, why aren’t they competing with Krispy Kreme, you ask? Because Tim Horton’s sells donuts that don’t taste like you’re also eating a mound of lard. Nobody’s claiming these do good things for the arteries, but they at least won’t kill you as fast as Krispy Kreme.
It’s hard to explain why Tim Horton’s performs as well as it does in Canada, but part of it may have to do with corporate culture. Try attending a meeting without also finding a box of those donuts in Canada. I don’t think it’s possible. Past this, their success lies in their coffee. As far as donut chains are concerned, they have the best in the business. This is no small trump card, as this product also has the highest profit margin.
One final insider donut note of interest: in an inadvertant stroke of genius, The Today Show used Duran Duran’s Hungry Like a Wolf in the background soundtrack to their Canadians at Tim Horton’s montage. It’s a reasonably appropriate song lyrically, but the tune was also played constantly over radio stations when I was growing up. It has a much bigger space in the Canadian cultural conciousness than most people realize.