Tim Hortons, Bloggers and Wish Lists

While I was rally driving through the Tim Hortons parking lot at 7 a.m. this morning, I had a ‘Blogger Moment’.

I was driving like a madwoman wanting to lead the pack of 7 vehicles coming from 3 different directions – all trying to position ourselves ahead of each other in the drive thru lineup. Timmy’s fans are *huge* in Canada. No matter what time of day or night, or where you work, someone near you has a cup of Tim Hortons in hand.

The drive thru is always busy (ESPECIALLY in the morning) and *No One* wants to get stuck behind the Fine Fella ordering 6 XL double/doubles and 6 toasted Everything Bagels loaded with cream cheese.

I have my $1.55 in hand, ready to do the quick coffee/cash hand off/carry on driving/ exchange that the Tim Hortons drive thru staff and I have worked down to a fine art. Getting stuck behind a Fine Fella just screws that up :lol:.

I did pretty well in the rally drive, but only achieved 3rd place in the lineup. So while I’m waiting, I have a Blogger’s Aha! moment.

How many hundreds and thousands of blogs are out there that link to the author’s Amazon Wish List? (btw that’s not a link to my wish list)

Or the always popular PayPal Donate Button that links to the blog author’s PayPal account for visitors to donate funds?

For Tim Hortons addicts like me (maybe it’s a Canadian thing?), and the other rally drivers pulling into its parking lots around the nation, how groovy would it be if Tim Hortons setup a reloadable cash card with an online account url that we could link to?

Picture this:

  • Tim Hortons offers a reloadable cash card for $10
  • I buy it and am able to use it for $10 worth of Timmy’s good stuff (spent in 2 or 3 days)
  • The cash card has an online account ID that I can setup on any and all of my blogs. Visitors can click my Timmy’s link and using PayPal, buy me a cup of coffee (money is credited to my handy dandy Tim Hortons reloadable cash card).

Tim Hortons

Timmy’s addicts around the blogosphere upload their links, someone buys a blogger a good cup of coffee once in awhile, and Tim Hortons gets itself a whole lot of advertising for – get this – FREE!

Here’s the best part – I’m serious! 😆

Visit Tim Hortons Online

Read history of Tim Hortons


I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

60 thoughts to “Tim Hortons, Bloggers and Wish Lists”

  1. OMG! I so want one of those Timmy Cards…. if only they made them. What an idea tho! All Canadian bloggers would be doing a little happy dance – ahh good coffee 🙂 If you could hook one of those up to a paypal account – oh that would be sweet!

    Once again – GOOD IDEA!!!! :p

  2. I think so too Empress! I’ve been laughing about it ever since I posted this. I picture all us canucks stats stalking our Tim Hortons accounts just like we do our affiliate accounts – for coffee money! 😆

    I think it would be so great.

  3. Heads up!

    They just put out the most adorable two cup teapots for sale. I think it was $11.25 (incl taxes). I bought one tonight and I just love it :lol:! I’ll be picking some more up as gifts and to store one away.

  4. I love it! A Timmy Hoe’s Christmas card…yummy 😉 I didn’t know you were Canadian Affiliate Gab – have been loving your posts!

  5. Hi Terry,

    What a BRILLIANT idea!!! Have you send an email to Timmy’s yet? ‘Cause if they don’t do it, you can bet that the ‘Buckeroos’ will… make mine a Tall Low-Fat Mocha No-Whip, please.

    BTW, thanks for mentioning the new NPT Forum. Hope you’ll stop by and contribute your considerable wit. 😀


  6. Thanks Darlene and Rosalind!

    Yes Darlene I’m a canuckster too ;).

    An interesting Tim Hortons timbit: I was told that the service wait at a Tim Hortons in Fort McMurray, AB, is *one and a half hours long*. :::shock:::. I have no idea if that’s true, but if it is – WOULD YOU WAIT IN LINE like that?

    [For those that don’t know – Fort McMurray, AB, is a modern day boom town].

    Rosalind I don’t normally participate in forums – too undisciplined and end up hanging around forums 24/7 instead of getting any work done. But I’ll make sure to pop over now since you were so nice to stop by and mention it. Ummm but I have a monster Year End To Do List to work thru first ;).

    Now I’m off to email Timmy’s because nope – it didn’t occur to me to email them the idea !

  7. Email to Tim Hortons sent, response received (already):


    Your comments regarding on-line blogging have been forwarded to our Marketing and Communications Department for review and consideration.

    Now it’s in Timmy’s hands. Let’s see what happens ;).

  8. Timmy money!? Great idea. On the subject of Tim Hortons. There is a lack of great Tim Hortons fan sites. I am in the creative stage of putting together a Tim fan site… ie. timheads.com?? timbits.com?? Either way, I want a site where fans can upload pics of them and tim’s stuff; forums for discussion of tim and canada; and more. Anyone interested in getting onboard, please contact me.

  9. ha ha what a fun idea Jason! Feel free to pop by here and drop a note when you have it up and running.

  10. I work at a tim’s and as far as I know the tim card is all ready out they are testing it out west and will be putting it at all stores in the near future. And if you people care to know we are changeing the uniforms again and should be getting them soon.

  11. Sean shortly after this post was made (Oct/2005), I was sent a link to a secret site in development for the Tim’s Card with the subject line: They’re doing it!.

    I thought it was great, so great–I phoned Tim’s Head Office and got redirected to a voice mail. Left a message who I was, what was going on and that I was hoping to get confirmation on the Tim Card concept. I was guns blazing to tip the Tim Card to the fanatical Tim Hortons superfans in the blogosphere.

    Never got a call back :lol:.

    Thanks for the info though, I wonder if they have them at my location yet. Will have to ask ;).

  12. This is SO weird! i never heard of this until the other day it hit ME, how great would it be to have a reloadable cash express card for Tim Hortons! It doesn’t have to be advertised online, although very clever, but just handy to have in an everyday situation! I doubt that Tim horton’s would PAY anyone for this “idea” since it’s clearly not original, but I am ALL for the Tim Horton’s Express Card. I wrote about it yesterday in my OWN blog! I’m gonna link to yours too! check mine out at http://www.beechball.blogspot.com (November 30 was the post date)

  13. There is a Tim Card coming out the rumor is it will lfirst be linked to mastercard and then it will eventually be separated into its own card.

  14. I just visited the Tim Horton’s site to see if I could buy coffee online and have it shipped to Chicago. (My husband is a huge fan of Tim’s coffee! He used to live north of Detroit.) Still not available…

    Anyway, I came across this blog. If anyone knows how I can get some coffee shipped here, please post the link.


  15. I been to just about every tim hortons across Canada, but the one In Delta B.C. at Nordel Court, it dirty, the service is so lousy,there is very little choice, mkaybe 3to5 picks. The staff say the boss does not want to through out donuts in the morning, the never mark their coffee or steep tea, So if your looking for fresh. Don’t go there////

  16. Hey Terry,

    Can you post the super secret link? Was it this site? It seems a bit stale and has no reference to mastercard from what I can tell. This is the best idea they’ve had yet.

  17. Hi rombo, yes that’s the link I was sent. As I mentioned above, I tried phoning & confirming with them when the link hit my inbox that it was indeed a legit Tim Hortons site and the card program was a go, but nada. So who knows. It could be some fake site with false whois for all we know. Guess we’ll have to wait for them to make it official/public and then we’ll know for sure ;).

  18. Tim Hortons will be accepting MasterCard only….no Visa, no Interac. And every store and drive through will be equipped with MasterCard’s PayPass RFID technology to let you “tap n go” with no signature or receipt required. All the stores in the Oakville Ontario area are already live. Likely see a public announcement soon!

  19. Tim Hortons will be accepting MasterCard only….no Visa, no Interac. And every store and drive through will be equipped with MasterCard’s PayPass RFID technology to let you “tap n go” with no signature or receipt required. All the stores in the Oakville Ontario area are already live. Likely see a public announcement soon!

    Are they fuggin nuts? I don’t ‘do’ MasterCard, I do Visa. I don’t carry a lot of cash, I’m a debit card kinda gal. A hardcore Timmy’s fan like myself spending 3 digits a month there, shamefully a daily addict. And they’re limiting how I (and other out-of-control-Timmy-addicts) can make a purchase?


    Although I have to admit I do mainly pay cash there. Gee. I hope they’ll still take that :P.

  20. More thoughts: Canadians pretty much do not leave the house without their debit cards. I cannot believe a company serving Canucks, a major company at that, would actually say: Cash or Mastercard. Or no ticky. Canadians & Debit Cards.

    Deep Throat you are just joking and yanking my chain, right? lol

  21. How is everyone doing? I would like to start by saying I have not had the pleasure of ever tasting a cup of this coffee you are all speaking of. But my Girlfriend here absolutally loves it and said there was no way she could get it sent to her in Iraq. Now me being a guy, i said there has to be a way..LOL, little did i know how difficult this was going to be. So i came acrros this page and saw that someone else was looking to have some shipped, to chicago if i am correct. Well is there any way to have this coffee shipped. Her and I are both in Baghdad Iraq and will be for awhile. Her job here is to help the soldiers deal with combat stress and mine is to train, advise and work along side the Iraqi National Police getting them ready to take over thier own country. I have access to the net when needed, for important things such as this! I will save this page and check back to see if anyone has the website in which to order this coffee. Thank you all for your time and I appreciate any info you have for me.
    SSG Hammerstone, Joshua

  22. Nope. Interac is apparently far too slow for high throughput merchants. The way I hear it Visa is too slow as well. The MasterCard is faster and the PayPass MasterCard is super fast where you just tap your card on a special reader and you are done. Give me a double double…tap…gone. That fast. Same thing at Ciniplex Odeons and Petro Canadas. Saw same thing at Coffee Time the other day.

  23. SSG Hammerstone Joshua, I thought they did set up a shop in Iraq for the soldiers? That was on the news last year, I think? What happens if family sends a can through the mail, will it get through?

    Deep Throat: That’s really interesting, I just don’t see how limiting customer payment options so severely can be a good thing. This will be something to watch :). Thanks for the info!

  24. Terry,
    I will check into the Tim Hortons being in Iraq, so far and this is going on my second year here though not in a row, the only coffee shops available are called Green Beans. Well after a bit of research, here is your answer..”Canada has set up Tim Horton’s in its well-equipped camps in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.” All the articles I found and read state that Canada is setting the coffee shops up on Canadian Bases. There is an awful lot of information on Tim Hortons! They have donated huge amounts of coffee to the Canadian Army! As far as them having set up shop in Iraq, cant confirm or deny it. I see that for the most part this coffee is a secret back in America, and after looking at the website, i see its only in 2 states and they are next to Canada. There is no ban on coffee being mailed to soldiers over here so it would make it through.

  25. ?? How are they limiting payment options? They only take cash today and now they are adding an option. I did a quick google search and it seems that there are alot more MasterCard cards in Canada than Visa cards according to their web sites. I checked out some stores today and the drive thrus are set up for MasterCard.

  26. Ok, here’s my prediction:

    Phase I: MasterCard PayPass at all TH stores within the next couple months.
    Phase II: TimCard (reloadable cashcard) that uses the MasterCard readers (for their speed and availability) by the end of 2007.

    I picture the TimCard as a privately-branded pre-paid credit card.

  27. One more thing:

    The first round of testing their card didn’t end up too well….Globe Investor

    Edit Note: Greg I fixed the link up so that it’s clickable and with anchor text–it was running off the page. Hope you don’t mind the quick edit, everything else was left as you wrote it :). Terry.

  28. From the Globe Investor link above:

    The claim filed by The TDL Group Corp (“TDL”), the licensing subsidiary of Tim Hortons Inc., seeks declarations from the Superior Court of Ontario that TDL was legally entitled to terminate negotiation of a “TIM CARD Turnkey Solution Agreement” (“the agreement”) on or before May 1st, 2005.

    The claim filed seeks a declaration that DXStorm breached its legal obligations by interfering with the termination of negotiations of the agreement on or before May 1st, 2005, and that TDL was entitled to terminate all beta tests and pilot projects concerning the agreement in Oakville and London, Ontario on or before May 1st, 2005.

    “Tim Card turnkey solution”

    Sounds like they’ve been cooking up something huh. Greg you could be onto something (MC paypass then reloadable cash card). I wonder if we’ll be able to integrate that reloadable cash card account online somehow?

  29. Terry: Thanks for the fix!

    If the TimCARD is really a credit card (MC) at heart, my guess is that you might be able to transfer money through your online banking.
    I also picture the ability for an Auto-Recharge recurring transfer to your card, or one-time topups. This would be setup using the timcard website.

    I checked out the website above (www.timcard.ca); they have pulled it, but its skeleton is available on the google cache. search for cache:www.timcard.ca The Timcard site went online between April and June 2004.
    The domain is registered to Tim Hortons head office.

    However it shapes up, its going to be a groundbreaking implementation of technology. A contactless credit/loyalty card.

  30. If the TimCARD is really a credit card (MC) at heart, my guess is that you might be able to transfer money through your online banking.
    I also picture the ability for an Auto-Recharge recurring transfer to your card, or one-time topups. This would be setup using the timcard website.

    Now how sweet would that be :)! I write that then think: My Gahd, this is about a coffee shop and here I am itchin for online bank topups lol!

    Question is: Would the MC/Tim Card be essentially one and the same? Meaning you *have to* be a MC holder to take advantage of it? And would I still need to plug my vehicle to the gills with loonies so that I always have Tim’s cash on hand? (As a non-MC holder)

  31. TH in the States takes all Visa/MC/AmEx. They are all processed using the magnetic stripe on traditional cards. The Canadian stores will be “contactless”; just hold your card up to the reader (rather than swiping the card through it).
    MC is the only issuer with contacless cards. When Visa comes out with them in Canada, my guess is that you can use them too.

    The TimCard is physically seperate card. They would be processed through the “contactless” readers; but aren’t credit cards, and can only be used at TH. They are akin to Gift Cards you see everywhere.

    The main problem TH is having is speed of service. (We’ve all been stuck behind that person at the grocery store!) How do you do transactions quickly at the Drive-Thru. Interac and traditional credit cards take time to authorize and/or need a signature. Contactless (PayPass) cards take 1/5 of a second to authorize (according to MC.com) and doesn’t require a signature under $25.

  32. The TimCard is physically seperate card

    That I could totally live with (if the debit card option was wiped out and replaced with MC only). At least it gives an option (other than cash).

    I’ve been thinking about the long lineups at Tim’s and I don’t know what the answer is. Limited drive-thru items? That will just cut sales (customers want the convenience–even if that means sacrificing a sammich order).

    Promoting drive-thru etiquette? “Look guys–if you have a big order, park the beast, hoist your buns off the seat, and go inside so you’re not holding EVERYONE up behind you”. Not gonna work either–sacrifice product for the convenience of drive-thru.

    And that’s just drive-thru. The store inside can be a madhouse too (more often than not).

    Remove the debit card option? Remove the cc payments (unless they’re tap n go)? I’m not so sure that’s going to make a *significant* difference in wait time.

    Is the payment method really the time sucker here? Some stores seem to be better managed than others, but overall I don’t think the staff sucks. But I do think the product prep time is the biggest culprit for the long lineups. I mean 9.5/10 times when I’m sitting behind someone in drive-thru, it isn’t for their debit card to get approved–it’s waiting for their sandwiches & ice caps. I know what I’m talking about here, I’m a serious Timmy’s drive-thru gal ;).

    So how’s MC or tap ‘n go going to fix or improve that? It actually might have an unexpected effect: Knowing and getting accustomed to how quickly you should be in & out with tap ‘n go, people will be even more conscious of just how long they’re sitting behind that Fine Fella with his too-lazy-to-go-inside order. And instead of Road Rage–it might just evolve into a Tim Hortons Drive-Thru Rage.

    Ok I’m laffin–but…I can see it :shock:.

  33. You make a great point. That technology is there to *assist* the people; but in the end, its still the people that make the place run.
    Untrained-poorlytrained staff/bad management will usually result in an inefficient operation.

    For the orders that arrive at the window before the customer, then they can save up to 5 seconds. Ive seen evidence to show that they can put over 1400 cars through the drive thru in 24 hours. (not literally, of course 🙂 ) (a vast majority of that is concentrated between 7am – 3pm.) I’m just pulling numbers, but I’d guess that 2/3 of the orders are for either coffee or coffee and a donut (which is easy to prepare).

    Because Tim Hortons is Tim Hortons; its possible for ANYTHING to happen there! Drive-Thru Rage included!
    I too am a Tim Hortons junkie, and during my visits I’ve seen pretty much everything!

    (Begin Social Commentary)
    It says a lot about our society when we are not willing to take 3 minutes and walk into a store to buy something. Anything. Especially something that will contribute to our growing health epidemic. Even if the only exercise you get during the day is walking into a Tim Hortons, is still SOMETHING.
    Also, people fail at the Golden Rule “Do unto others…”. How do you like customers treating you at YOUR workplace? Do you think it would be inconsiderate to not only the employees but the people behind you to order 3 soup deals in the drive-thru? You know how much time it would take them to prepare it in the store, thats pretty much how much time it will take to prepare them for drive-thru… The most labour-intensive part is preparing the soup where usually only one person works.
    I’ve seen it too often where someones order is wrong and they lash into the employee. Please.. 1) You dont like to be yelled at, and you are making her feel bad 2) in the grand scheme of things an extra cream in your coffee isn’t that significant (maybe the machine messed up – who knows) 3) your holding up the line.
    (End social commentary)

    Wow – i really have to lay off the brackets. (I’ve nearly worn the symbol off the key!)

  34. The issue for Timmys is not increasing customers, rather it is throughput of customers and increasing the sales from those customers. Cash is slow, PIN based debit is even slower and you cannot hand pin entry devices out the drive through window….even slower. Traditional credit cards are much faster han cash, but when you add contactless like MasterCard’s PayPass then it’s really fast. No swiping, no signatures, no receipts….just tap the card and that is it. The staff concentrate on filling your order, not on completing the transaction or counting cash/change. When you are not limited to the cash in your pocket you can, if you choose, spend more.

    From what I hear from a major Franchisee, every store in Canada is rolling out MasterCard and MasterCard PayPass. No Visa, No American Express and no Interac. They apparently looked at all kinds of payment solutions and MasterCard had the best for their needs.

    I did some googling….


  35. … the cards will get you in and out faster, shaving up to 10 seconds from the payment time. That may not seem like much, until you consider the restaurant industry rule of thumb holds that every six-second reduction in service time translates into a one per cent sales gain. By 2009, as people increasingly use credit cards at the till, the analysts forecast sales could rise by $2.8 million, simply because the lineups move a little faster. But the big bucks will come as customers add an extra donut or muffin to their orders, since they are no longer limited by the change rattling around in their pockets. UBS points to studies showing customers spend up to 20 per cent more when using cards to satisfy cravings instead of cash. That suggests Tim Hortons’ sales could rise by 15 per cent in 2009, a $56-million gain.

    It seems there are two factors in play: time and available cash.

    I agree with your post, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of adding these cards later. Currently MasterCard is the only issuer with contactless cards in Canada.

    As Visa and American Express start issuing these cards, i’d imagine they would accept them (as they do in the States).

  36. FYI: I found this screenshot of the old TimCard site. This is not (by any means) current; and will not be how it looks in the future (TH has a lawsuit against this company – see previous posts); but its interesting none the less…
    Click This Link

  37. Deep Throat
    I’d be interested in knowing if the Tim Hortons that take PayPass let you ‘swipe’ your card, or if they only use the contactless option.

    Thanks! Greg

  38. Greg,

    They seem to support both swiping and tapping (PayPass). I have a Citibank Petro Canada MasterCard and it has PayPass and I’ve already started using it. Pretty slick. When I do the tap thing I get alot of stares and questions from others standing by.

  39. I dunno DT, I used my Mastercard and wasn’t impressed at all. End to end, I’d say the whole transaction took about 2 minutes. At first it didn’t seem to go through, so the confused cashier had to go find the manager. The manager had better luck, but when he keyed in the amount he overcharged me by 20 cents. At that point I decided to cut my losses. I’m sure 4 people passed me at the next register. I’m sticking with cash.

  40. I ran into the same thing, only once, It looked like a training problem. Other ones went fine.

  41. OK, well either the training requires a degree, or it’s some other problem. I’ve made 2 further attempts over the last month at the same location, both of which took more than 60 seconds to complete. I’m getting stares from the people behind me in line, and it isn’t because of my neato whizbang tap card. (or is it?). Stick with cash Timmys, it actually works!

  42. just got my paypass card from BMO. Works great. No training issues when i used it. Fast and easy. Looking for more retailers that have adopted paypass.

  43. I just dumped my CIBC Aerogold Visa and got a Presidents Choice MasterCard with paypass. Works great. Loving the tap and go feature. I use it at Timmys and it’s great. Speedy & pretty darn cool.

  44. The store near me in Moncton got this paypass thing a week or so ago. saw someone doing the tap thing. looked slick to me. I applied online for a Citibank petro points mastercard with paypass.

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