Category Archives: Coffee

First moves

The city of Toronto is currently putting plans together that should see a significant reduction in the number of paper coffee cups ending up in the City’s landfill sites. Canadians drink, on average, 10 times more coffee than most other developed nations. This is largely due to the Tim Horton’s franchise. Incidentally Canadian’s also eat 3 times more donuts per capita than US citizens. Again, all thanks to Timmy Ho’s. 


The way I see it, coffee houses like Tim Horton’s, Starbuck’s, Second Cup and Timothy’s are in a standoff. The smart company will win the PR competition here, and no doubt win a few new customers on the way too.

There are probably a few options to meet the new regulations:

  1. Give a discount to consumers with their own re-usable cup
  2. Increase prices for those wanting a take-away cup
  3. Find a greener packaging alternative

Even if the City imposes a discount for refillable cups, complying will be seen as just that. 

The Forward Thinking Coffee House (FTCH) should provide a discount, a greater discount than the City stipulates. This pushes the other coffee houses into a corner. If they meet the City’s discount limit then they haven’t matched the FTCH.  If the match the discount then they’re an Also-Ran. This still leaves the greener packaging. Which will take time. And money. 

To all the FTCH’s out there: Give the discount. And buy yourself some time to make greener packaging. By moving first you break ahead of the pack, you get some good PR. And you get to sleep better at night knowing your Coffee House is ahead of the CSR curve.

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Filed under Coffee, Franchise, Strategy