TORONTO Executives at the operator of Tim Hortons sounded an upbeat note about the brand Monday despite slower than anticipated store growth for the coffee and donut chain across North America, weak same store sales on its home turf and an ugly spat with its franchisees.The Tim Hortons brand was engulfed by negative publicity last month after some of its Ontario franchisees cut employee benefits and paid breaks in response to the province minimum wage hikes. At the time, its owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. Said the actions did not reflect the brand and blamed a group of franchisees.It followed a year of antagonism with Tim Hortons Canadian franchisees, who formed an association and filed class action lawsuits against the master franchisor, accusing head office of misusing advertising funds and hiking the prices of products they buy through the company such as sugar and bacon.ReputationIn an interview Monday, chief executive Daniel Schwartz of Restaurant Brands would not comment on whether he believed ongoing franchisee issues had weighed down the company reputation or share price performance.made a lot of good progress last year in building a strong and positive agenda with the restaurant owners, Schwartz said when asked about the state of head office relationship with its Canadian franchisees.
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By now you’re thinking that I am a particularly shallow individual, and to a certain extent, you’d be right. But I think that in small ways, we all behave like this in our daily lives. A stranger waves as they drive past in the same model car as our own.
It’s got two names already and the fans would still call it Parkhead even if it became, for example, the Nike Arena.”When it comes to the media side, the stadium would be referred to by the new name but what does that matter if fans still call it Parkhead?”What does matter in football these days is the commercial world and keeping up with the best.”I don’t think it would take anything away from Celtic because it’s still a fantastic stadium and if it gives the club extra financial clout to compete at a higher level, why not?”There are people for and against the situation in Newcastle but I heard a guy on the radio talking about how Mike Ashley has now frozen season ticket prices for 10 years.”He was saying he could now afford to go and support his team and if it’s now the Sports Direct Arena instead of St James’ Park, so be it.”That’s a seat filled for a decade at a time when times are hard for fans to fork out. If it helps the common man to get to football then surely it’s a good thing.”If Celtic or Rangers were to put a brand name on to their stadium it wouldn’t stop fans calling the grounds Parkhead and Ibrox but it would bring valuable extra income.”When O’Neil was at Wolfsburg, they played their football at the rundown VFL Stadium. But when he went back a few years later, motoring giant Volkswagen were on board.