Tim Hortons pledges $40mn to support sick staff

By Knackles

Fast-food chain Tim Hortons has reportedly set aside CA$40mn as a fund to support its staff who become sick during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. 

The brand, which specialises in coffee and donuts, will divide the money equally among its 1,500 restaurant owners and its corporate office in Oakville. 

At a time when many businesses and workers are concerned about the financial implications of the virus and, by association, self-isolation, Tim Hortons’ firm stance of support will make for welcome news and enable staff to act in a more conscientious manner. 

Making a clear decision

It is hoped that the government will also extend further aid to businesses experiencing operational and financial difficulties - Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, has already committed $1.1bn to aid strains on public health and national supply chains.

Tim Hortons’ policy at this stage in the pandemic is clear: if staff are showing systems and found to have contracted coronavirus, the company will compensate that worker for their scheduled hours up to a period of 14 days (the average recovery time). 

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"Tim Hortons team members are always there for our guests – and we are there for them," said Duncan Fulton, Chief Corporate Officer. 

"We are making the right decisions for guests, team members and restaurant owners daily during this public health situation. 

“It was obvious that we needed to help our small business restaurant owners with the substantial investment required to look after team members at this time. 

“This may be unprecedented for a franchise business model, but these are unprecedented times," stated Fulton. 

Re-thinking normal operations

This latter statement by Fulton rings true, both in Tim Hortons’ actions and the wider fast-food sector. Placing an emphasis on serving customers via the drive-thru and closing down dining areas is in-step with actions taken by other known brands.

It has been announced that McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A have also implemented similar measures. 

Simple but considerate alterations to normal operations could be crucial as restaurants try to balance retaining their staff, customers and financial security.

For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.

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