Tim Hortons introduces rewards card to ‘slow down pace of drive-thru’

Tim Hortons introduces rewards card to ‘slow down pace of drive-thru’

Atlantic Canada — Since implementing a mandatory tip in the price of their hot beverages earlier this year, the marketing team over at Tim Hortons has been working hard to earn back the trust of their customers.

After many failed attempts at luring patrons back with random themed donuts that never make any sense, the team now thinks they have found the solution: a new loyalty program, which will see customers carry a card rewarding them with free products.

After a week’s worth of purchases, customers will be able to cash in their hard-earned points for a free coffee, donut or muffin. While not a new concept, especially seeing as their competitors already do the exact same thing, Timmies stepped it up a notch by moving away from the traditional “sticker on cup” model, instead opting to add another plastic card to the already packed wallets of customers, to be scanned with each purpose.

Brandon Millstone, the recently hired Communications Director for Tim Hortons, explained to The Manatee how this decision serves a dual purpose for their team.

“Honestly, the card rewarding the customers was just a bonus to its main purpose of slowing down the drive-thru line,” explained Millstone over a Skype interview this morning where he clearly was not wearing pants. “Now, customers take roughly 3.2 minutes to search for the card in their wallets or vehicles once they’re at the window, then the staff take approximately 2.5 minutes to scan the card. Then there’s another minute or two for each patron to chit-chat with the employee about how weird it is to be using a Timmies card at all. Everything’s just a bit more leisurely.

“Our staff are working long three- to four-hour shifts on weekends, and have found it hard to keep up with the expected pace of the drive-thru…so we needed a way to slow it down a bit.”

The plan seems to be working, as drive-thru lineups are longer than ever, and will continue to be while customers dig for their rewards cards each visit to the window.

Before ending our chat, Millstone mentioned that the idea of the loyalty program was very close to being scrapped in favour of a “double-double with cream only” menu in the drive-thru, which would take some of the pressure off staff to get orders correct as well as maintain a quick drive-thru experience.

  1. The rewards program is junk. The rewards app only works on wifi (not available at the drive thru) or data (so you are paying to use it), scanners sometimes don’t work on the phones, scans sometimes don’t go thru with even with the card, and staff don’t ask if you want to use a reward or not.


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