Tim Horton’s new and improved rewards system

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More options and more free food and drinks

In 1964, the first Tim Hortons opened in Hamilton, Ontario. Since then, this company has not only grown significantly in popularity, but has also become a well-known Canadian establishment. Over these last 55 years, Tim Hortons has been serving Canadians a variety of hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, soups and baked goods. Additionally, Tim Hortons has attempted to maintain its modern appeal by frequently introducing new menu items, as well as launching Tims Rewards, a rewards program for loyal customers, last March. However less than a year later, Tim Hortons has decided to replace its current rewards system with a new and improved one that is based on earning and redeeming points, rather than the number of visits. With this new points-based rewards system, Tim Horton’s hopes to increase its sales, give customers more menu items to choose from, and move more into a digital format.

Through Tim Hortons previous rewards system, customers scanned their rewards card at the time of their purchase. Upon their eighth visit, they were rewarded and could receive a free coffee, cookie, or donut. Shortly after its launch, this system quickly gained attention and members, evident by the almost eight million registered individuals. This large membership is unsurprising since many customers, as University of Regina of staff employee Gillian Van der Ven pointed out to me, enjoy receiving “free items.” For third-year Human Justice student Debor Ghosh, the Tim’s Rewards program “is a good system” because he enjoys all the “free coffee” he is able to get.

Despite these advantages, the previous Tim Rewards system offered a limited number of menu items for customers to choose from for their rewards. Additionally, Tim Horton’s saw a 4.6 per cent decrease to their sales last year, which suggests that the program may not be as effective as they had anticipated.

However, Tim Horton’s hopes that these problems will be eliminated with its new reward system. According to Mike Hancock, the company’s chief operational officer, “these changes will [offer customers] even more valuable offers and redemption choices … to make this one of the most compelling and loved loyalty programs in the country” (as quoted from an online newsfire article).

This new rewards system will center around the collection of points. For each purchase over $0.50 and thirty minutes apart, customers will earn ten points. Once an individual collects a certain amount of points, they will be able to receive a free item, depending on the available options within that specific point value level. Each point level includes a variety of menu items. The lowest (fifty points) offers hashbrowns, cookies or donuts and the highest (220 points) offers the farmer breakfast sandwich, lunch sandwiches and chili.

Similar to the old rewards system, this new program will also use the same card.

However, all former members will not automatically be switched over to the new system. Current members must go to the Tim Hortons website, or their Tim Hortons app, and register both their card and email to create an account with this new system. It also should be acknowledged that all of the visits individuals had formerly obtained will not be lost when they switch to the system, but will instead be transferred over. For example, every visit from earlier will count as ten points and every reward not obtained will count as eighty points within the new system.

Through this additional online component, customers will be able to choose what reward level they want to work toward, and this can be changed at any time online or through the app. According to campus Chartwell’s employees, the rewards system will not be available on campus.

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