OAKVILLE, Ontario—Today, in reaction to a policy change by Starbucks prohibiting smokers from lighting up within 8 metres of any of their 7,000 North American locations, Tim Hortons announced a policy change of their own.
“A coffee, a donut and a cigarette are as fundamental to the Canadian way of life as apple pie and automatic rifles are to our American friends,” said Paul D. House, Timmy’s Executive Chairman. “It is for this reason that I’d like to announce that people will always be welcome to have a smoke in front of our stores. In fact, the more you love Tim Hortons, the closer you can light up.”
The Media Kit released at the press conference included a chart which detailed the complete Tim Hortons menu along with relative distances of allowable smoking. For example, customers purchasing an extra-small double-double or black coffee are permitted to smoke seven meters from a primary entrance or exit, or five meters from any exterior wall.
At the higher end of the tier, customers spending $100 or more are allowed to smoke within 36 inches of the front door, while those spending $250 or more can stand next to the door and lean against the window, provided they don’t block any product advertisements.
At the top, those spending $500 or more will receive a personal visit from the manager, who will provide each member of the customer’s party with a complimentary pack of “Tim Hortons Classic” cigarettes, as well as a free lighting service plus a complimentary re-light in the event of excessive wind (maximum 5 people).
When asked by telephone whether Second Cup was planning to roll out a similar arrangement for their customers, President & CEO Stacey Mowbray blew us a raspberry and hung up.