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February 19, 2022

Tim Hortons: Recession-proof?

By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance

The local auto plant is boarded up, you’re telling your car dealer you can’t afford the lease and no one’s renewing that tennis club membership.

Sure signs of a recession, right? We may be mostly out of the soup lines, but people just aren’t spending anymore.


Well someone needs to tell this to Tim Hortons, because drive-thru lines have never seemed longer and the morning rush inside their stores is as mad as it’s ever been.

David Pett of the Financial Post warns the doughnut giant is far from immune to the recession, but we certainly haven’t seen the signs.

Tim Hortons is likely to battle the storm in Canada because, well, it’s Tim Hortons and this is Canada. A cultural staple of this magnitude isn’t sure to feel the economic bite when its prices are pretty favourable and its consumer base is so rabid and loyal.

As Pett writes, more people are now going to opt against a $4 latté in favour of a Tim’s double-double, an idea likely to blame for Starbucks’ reported 10% sales decline in its fourth quarter last year.

We’re thinking Tim Hortons goes the way of McDonald’s, which noted a Q4 bump in sales, and keeps its stores packed through the recession.

Wherever you stand on Mickey D’s, it is comfort food for a ton of people. And since it’s relatively inexpensive, that’s going to count for a lot while people continue to scale back their dine-out budgets.

CTV seems to agree, anyway. They predict McDonald’s will be recession-proof because the grub makes people feel good. Shoppers Drug Mart should also do just fine because they provide products – deodorant, shampoo, etc. – people can’t do without.

Sure looks like people can’t do without Tim’s, either.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...