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Tim Hortons franchisees' association calls $700M makeover plan 'ill-conceived'

Restaurant Brands International Inc.-owned Tim Hortons could face pushback from its franchisees over its plans to invest $700 million to renovate its stores across Canada, Financial Post reported March 27.

The restaurant chain plans to offer communal seating and electric outlets at tables for charging phones in an effort to woo more customers, according to the report.

"I think it will definitely help bring new people into the store," Tim Hortons President Alex Macedo said, citing positive customer feedback from 10 test restaurants operating under the new format in Canada.

An association representing the restaurant chain's franchisees, however, is calling the move "ill-conceived."

"We think, that once again RBI wants to fix a problem it cannot solve, mainly lack of sales, by getting us to spend money while they contribute very little," Great White North Franchisee Association, which was formed a year ago to oppose the chain's policies, reportedly said in a letter to the franchisees.

Tim Hortons executives have requested franchisees spend up to $450,000 per restaurant for the renovation program, the association reportedly said, adding that the executives "do not understand foodservice, franchise operations or marketing."