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Tim Hortons Franchisee Closes Girard Store

GIRARD, Ohio — Two weeks after franchisee TH Cleveland closed its Tim Hortons in Liberty Township, and urged patrons to patronize its store at 500 S. State St. here, a notice posted on Facebook yesterday announced it, too, was ending operations.

“We want to thank our loyal guests who have supported our Girard location. Please be assured Tim Hortons remains committed to growing the Tim Hortons brand in Northeast Ohio,” the posting stated. “Thank you for the opportunity to become a part of your community.”

Facebook responses were not kind. “I’m pretty sure you’re not clear on the definition of ‘committed,’ ” observed one.

“No surprise. They were either out of everything. The machine to make the frozen drinks was broke or the people had no clue what was on the menu. Tried 3 different times…all 3 times were a disaster.”

TH Cleveland, the franchise operator, referred all questions to the media department at Tim Hortons Inc. Area stores in Calcutta and Salem are independently owned and not operated by TH Cleveland.

Hortons, based in Canada, is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., which also owns the Burger King and Popeyes quick service restaurant brands. System-wide, RBI generates $33 billion in annual sales at 26,000 restaurants in 100 countries and U.S. territories, according to its website.

On Nov. 14, RBI priced an offering of $750 million of second lien senior secured notes, with the net proceeds designated to repay $750 million of outstanding loans.

In reporting third-quarter results Oct. 28, the CEO of RBI, Jose Cil, said Burger King sales grew 15% during the quarter, and Popeyes “had one of its best quarters in nearly two decades.” Not so for Tim Hortons, which had “a challenging quarter,” yet remained confident and “excited about the long-term growth prospects of the Tim’s brand and business in Canada,” Cil said.

TH Cleveland is an independent developer of Tim Hortons restaurants.

“There’s a big hole right here in northeast Ohio and we thought that it was the right time to bring Tim Hortons to the area,” Jeff Linville, president and CEO of TH Cleveland, said March 19 at the grand opening of the restaurant at 3523 Belmont Ave.

“We’ve got about another six that we’re going to open throughout the area. I can’t divulge anything but by the end of the year we should have seven in the area,” Linville said. “This is just one of many.”

The Liberty and Girard restaurants each employed about 50. Plans to open a store in Austintown this year never materialized.

“That didn’t last long,” responded a Facebook follower to yesterday’s announcement of the Girard closing.

Posted another, “First Liberty’s location and now Girard. What a shame. Not even a year. I loved everything there. I guess you guys should have planned this better. You’re committed alright. Committed to closing.”

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.