With new grilled Paninis, Tim Hortons takes aim at the Big Mac
In 2007, you wouldn’t quite say Tim Hortons looked up to McDonald’s, but in many ways it envied the burger joint.
Though Tim’s cut its teeth as the destination for quick-serve breakfast in Canada, offering coffee and donuts since it first opened its doors in 1964, McDonald’s and the Egg McMuffin still held the top spot in the country’s fast food breakfast landscape.
But then, in came the breakfast sandwich, and one year later Tim’s was the king of morning fast food, a position its held ever since.
Though what about lunch? Could a menu overhaul, included new grilled Panini sandwiches coming soon, really help Canada’s coffee chain take down mighty McDonald’s in the nation’s fast food lunch market?
Long as the odds may be, Tim’s is trying.
*Bing: Fast food nutritional info
Less than eight months after it introduced its beef lasagna casserole, Tim Hortons is testing out a new line of grilled Panini sandwiches at select locations in Saskatoon and Toronto.
The sandwiches – a turkey chipotle, a Tuscan chicken, a smoked ham and cheese and a bacon, tomato and cheese, all $5.29 each – will be rolled out across Ontario by the end of the August. Canada-wide, they should debut by October.
The message is clear for the always-evolving Tim Hortons. It’s gunning for McDonald’s, which despite shifts in health perspectives across Canada, still rides its Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets to the no. 1 spot in fast food lunch.
“People are looking for an alternative to a fried product,” Tim Hortons interim CEO and president Paul House told the Star. “The (consumer’s) … appetites are changing. We need to move our menu with them.”
Certainly, lunch is the bread-and-butter of the fast food biz, making up 33 per cent of total fast food sales in the country.
But Tims is hoping it can replicate its breakfast success later in the day. The infrastructure is in place – there are more than twice as many Tim Hortons locations in Canada than there are McDonald’s – but the battle will be uphill. Paninis will no doubt be delicious, but burgers and fries are as entrenched in fast food as they come.
In the future, will you opt for grilled Paninis instead of burger chains for lunch?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: BP | Jul 15, 2021 12:27:04 AM
I won't be buying a panini sandwich at $5.29 unless fries come with that ... maybe at $3.99 ... just saying...
Posted by: Return to BP | Jul 15, 2021 9:38:03 AM
You already pay almost $9.00 for your Big Mac Combo.
Posted by: AM | Jul 15, 2021 11:52:19 AM
I have tried the Tuscan Chicken Panini.. It is AMAZING! I do still , however , love my big mac. It will depend on my mood on the day I am eating out for Lunch that will determine which I will chooose!
Posted by: rene | Jul 15, 2021 1:27:17 PM
I feel burgers & sandwhiches don't belong in the same group. If I want a burger I'll go to Mc D's or Wendys. If I want a sandwich I go to subway & get a loaded sub for less than a tim's panini. I guess it's all about what you feel like at that time of day.
Posted by: Mr. Negative | Jul 15, 2021 2:00:44 PM
If you want a real egg, Tim's isn't the place to go for breakfast. They don't have the proper cooking equipment to cook real eggs. As well, there sandwhichs are extremly expensive for what they are.
I have never really enjoyed Tim's food other than a coffee and donut! They should stick to the business they know.
Posted by: Cheryl | Jul 15, 2021 2:13:00 PM
I will try the Turkey one for sure. And as I go there for the coffee and tea I will probably buy the panini too. I rarely go to MCD's for anything.
Posted by: Meal Police | Jul 15, 2021 6:08:48 PM
Even though most people are aware that McDonald's meals really constitute the calorie equivalent of three meals in one sitting. If you only receive a panini for $5.29, you not only save money versus a whole meal at McDonald's, you also save about 750-1000 calories. While I'm sure most people eating McDonald's aren't the calorie conscious type, it may be a good alternative. It may end up fattening your wallet while slimming down your body.
Posted by: martyman2 | Jul 15, 2021 6:54:47 PM
Last time I looked at McD's % marketshare, there really wasn't anyone else in the fast food business...basically they had held about 70+% share with the other 30% divided up between everybody else.
The fact that Timmy's managed to come out ahead on Breakfast sandwiches is nothing short of amazing....especially when cosidering their's is a non fresh egg product and (in my opinion) an inferior knock-off.
Pricing is an area where Tim's will have to be "sharper" if they want to lure McD customers away.Say what want about healthy eating, price is still King....especially there days
Posted by: Mr. Negative | Jul 16, 2021 12:03:04 PM
We also have to ask where the stats came from? Also, look close at the price and sizes for coffee.....Mcdonald's has the better value if you like there coffee.
Posted by: Dana | Jul 16, 2021 12:54:09 PM
I would opt for the panini at Tim's. I almost never order a drink with my meals because water is free and the fries usually make me feel stuffed, so I really don't need them. I would say though, I usually opt for a sub which I can get for under $5. So for me, its a battle between Subway - not McD's.
Posted by: Toolman | Jul 17, 2021 12:22:09 AM
I would prefer fresh eggs over frozen, Tim Hortons gets precooked frozen eggs.
McDonalds is fresh eggs.
Timmies for breakfast maybe a bagel
How will the panini come in all frozen ready to be nuked by the microwave.
Posted by: zazzoo | Jul 17, 2021 1:58:09 AM
It won't be either for me, I am a Chef who works with "real' food. All fast food is disgusting, full of chemicals,fat and salt.It has no real flavor.
McD's may use real eggs but the sausage, bacon and cheese cancel out any health benefits of the egg.
For me, it's handmade sausage with locally sourced organic pork, fresh herbs and a pinch of sea salt.Top it off with an organic, free range egg and some organic Edam cheese.Put all that in a 12 grain, fresh baked English muffin and that is what I call a breakfast sandwich. Toss some baby roasted potatoes with some garlicky pesto and it's a feast.
As for the panini, fresh oven roasted free range turkey, heirloom tomatoes, fresh spinach and a good hearty slice of camembert cheese. Sandwich it between a good, eggy challah, toss it on your panini grill and let all that goodness melt together. serve with wild cranberry relish. YUM
Posted by: stan | Jul 17, 2021 2:37:05 AM
Not a timmy's fan everything overpriced while they only pay min. wage. Getting away from burggers/fries see if they drop them @ their partner wendys I think not,big mac will allways rule !
Posted by: Bobby | Jul 17, 2021 6:51:04 AM
I think ill stick to Subway
Posted by: Shannon | Jul 17, 2021 7:35:11 AM
I used to work there. Their breakfast sandwich atleast used to have almost the same amount of calories as a Big Mac. It was the WORST place I have ever worked. You couldn't imagine all the crabby people they deal with, most of them because they said their order wrong and do not like the fact that the person on drive-thru is trying to make it right. We made mistakes too, and we would try and make it right. If I'm going to eat fatty junk, I think I stick to burgers
Posted by: cloudpuncher | Jul 17, 2021 8:06:13 AM
Paninis have been out at the timho's in the USA for a few months now. Pretty good, but $. Would probably go to subway for that again.
Posted by: hungry n tired | Jul 17, 2021 8:24:42 AM
Until Tim Hortons can find a way to train their staff to get an order right at least half the time, or act like they give a crap when they get it wrong, I will take my business elsewhere. From the top down, it is a culture of "don't give a crap." My guess is they've made enough money.
Posted by: Linda | Jul 17, 2021 8:48:23 AM
I'll stick to Subway, thank you very much. Cheaper and tastier. Tim's is way overpriced for what you get. If you get a sandwich combo there, it can cost over $7. plus tax and it's only the size of a 6 inch sub, if that. I can get a full 12 inch sub and drink at Subway for a little over $8. taxes in and that's a lot more filling than the tiny sandwich at Tim's. Or you can get their 6 inch Sub, soup and drink for under $7. including tax. Also if you want a fattening treat, Subways cookies and cinnamon rolls are delicious, way better than any of Tim's treats!
Posted by: john | Jul 17, 2021 10:28:00 AM
I think Tims should inprove its customer service first.
Posted by: tims fan | Jul 17, 2021 11:10:58 AM
Please use some common sence here people.....real egg at Mc D's give me a break, you know the feeling you get after eating at Mcd's, yes you know it.it may be a real egg, but how is it handled, it is a risky food, and hand cracked, nice pieces of egg shell in the egg, and food safety!!!, has anyone seen how dirty Mcds is.....tims got them all the way.....and is #1 in food servce in Canada, I tryed the panini in Buffalo, and it was exzctly what I was look for as an option, I never eat anything from Mcds, and for price those who t6hink they are getting something better at Subway, the meat is turkey roll, and they just fill you up with bread...........take a look people, and support you Canadain hertiage..Go timmies!!!1