Celebrating this big milestone yesterday, Business Today interviewed Hesham Almekkawi, CEO of Tim Hortons Middle East. From sharing his emotions, challenges faced by the brand to Tim Hortons 2023 plans, here is everything you need to know about the Canadian multinational coffeehouse…
1 . How does it feel to launch the 250th store in the area and reach this milestone?
It is a great milestone for Tim Hortons ME. We have achieved the highest growth for a single brand in the region in 2022. We have opened 71 new locations and we are thrilled to achieve the 250th mark. It coincides with our vision to reach 500 restaurants by 2025.
2. From a company strategy perspective, how would you best sum up the last year?
Our strategies for the next 5 years are well defined. They revolve around profitable growth, building people’s capabilities, and evolved digitalization. We are setting the pace for being 500 restaurant company. This vision dictates our strategies and our evolutions for the brand.
3. What were some of the main difficulties Tim Hortons encountered locally?
COVID-19 has created many challenges for F&B industry and retail in general. We are faced with a constant increase in coffee and raw material prices coupled with unprecedented delay in shipping. Moreover, operating in seven different markets including Egypt, creates many challenges due to the different regulations, taxation, and governmental rules. With all these challenges, we must maintain our value proposition to consumers. It’s a tough battle for all retailers and we are working constantly to mitigate it.
4. What unique steps will Tim Hortons ME be taking to integrate automation into its processes?
We prefer to stay in the personal connection space. We create experiential moments for our guests as part of our mission. Not all automations are good as businesses lose the human touch dealing with customers. However, we have an intense focus on digitalization to stay relevant to today’s consumers and to ease the processes of ordering. This includes revamping our App, enhance our social media presence and evolute our internal process for a complete ERP system.
5. What business growth goals are you hoping to implement in 2023?
We need to maintain our growth momentum for next year to pass 300+ restaurants in the region. We will also expand our geographical footprint by entering Egypt market next year.