When Tim Hortons opens its first of 40 planned St. Louis area restaurants tomorrow, it will have menu items not yet available at any of the other Tim Hortons' 4,700 locations in Canada or the U.S.
The Canadian chain known for its coffee and donuts is expanding its sandwich lineup and testing several new sandwiches at the Maplewood restaurant opening June 23 that aren't available elsewhere, said Eric Sigurdson, president of franchisee Show Me Hospitality.
"Over the last 15 to 20 years, Tim Hortons has become known for a lot more than donuts, and we have an all day business, with soups, sandwiches and paninis," Sigurdson said.
Show Me Hospitality announced in early 2014 that it signed an agreement with Tim Hortons to open 40 locations in the St. Louis region through 2020. The franchisee's boundaries includes more than two dozen counties in Missouri and Illinois.
The first St. Louis area Tim Hortons, at 2750 S. Big Bend Blvd., is slated to open at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Show Me Hospitality rented limos to pick up three winners of an online contest who will be the first in line in the Maplewood restaurant's drive-through when it opens at 6 a.m.
"The reception has been outstanding," Show Me Hospitality's director of marketing Tina Bryan said of the requests they've received from the chain's fans for stores to open in the region.
For restaurants to open this year and next, Show Me Hospitality is scouting for sites near the Interstate 64/Highway 40 corridor running from Interstate 270 to downtown St. Louis, Sigurdson said. "That's a very powerful corridor, and we like to be on streets with busy traffic," he said. "We're getting a lot of interest from developers."
Show Me Hospitality plans to have five Tim Hortons restaurants in the St. Louis region open by the end of 2015, and seven more in 2016.