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The franchisees of Canadian-based quick service restaurant chain Tim Hortons have banded together into the Great White North Franchisee Association to counteract what they see as the harmful actions of their new owner, Restaurant Brands International, which in turn is 51 percent owned by Brazilian private equity and hedge fund firm 3G Capital.
RBI is the Canada-based firm of Burger King and Tim Hortons which announced the acquisition of Popeyes last month. The Popeyes deal is expected to close in early April.
A month after the Tim Hortons buyout was approved by the Canadian government in December 2014, layoffs at the multi-national firm's head and regional offices made the news. One of the stories had the explanatory subtitle, After merger with Burger King, owner 3G Capital looks for efficiencies.
Tim Hortons' president sent a letter to franchisees that contained soothing words:
The company reached out to all of its franchisees in a letter this week from Elias Diaz, the brand president of Tim Hortons, in which he reassured them that "the Tim Hortons brand has been built by thousands of dedicated franchise owners. They are the foundation of our system, and we have always and will continue to seek their counsel and work in close collaboration with them to deliver a great guest experience every day across our restaurants in Canada."
Noting that sales and profitability at the chain have increased every year since buying Tims, the letter from Diaz told franchisees that the company looks forward to working with them "to ensure that the Tim Hortons brand is healthy for the long run by focusing on what will help us serve our guests and the iconic Tim Hortons brand now and in the future." — CBC News
Nothing in that quote about looking out for the well-being, financial or otherwise, of franchisees, the backbone of the system.