[Note to Skeptical Readers: The announcement of Tim Hortons moving into Houston in 2022 is real. – Ed.]
HOUSTON, Texas – The management of Tim Hortons announced on December 13, 2021, that the company has reached an agreement with a local company in Houston to build and operate a franchised Tim Hortons coffee shop and bakery. Multiple locations are anticipated, beginning in 2022. A television commercial featuring Justin Bieber was aired during a Houston Texans football game to warn the general public.
Tim Hortons has over 5,000 locations with some 600 in northern states of the USA. The Houston location will be the farthest south by far.
Your humble correspondent lived in Houston for many years prior to my retirement to California. To find out what present-day Houstonians thought of the impending invasion, I traveled to Houston in a flying deathtube and approached a number of people on the street in downtown. After explaining the situation, some of the comments I was plied with were:
“I’ve been to Morton’s Steakhouse. Is Tim Mortons the same outfit?”
“Are you gonna have to wear snowshoes to get inside?”
“We already got 42 jillion Starbutts. What makes these guys think there’s room for more?”
Don’t they eat French fries with gravy up there in Canadia? You only do that if you’re eating a chicken fried steak.”
“I bet they’s only serving iced coffee. HAHAHAHAHA!”
“I heared that it’s also a bakery. Maybe they’ll have a chance to succeed if they know how to make sourdough biscuits and cornbread.”
“I saw one of them when I was up in Calgary for a meeting but it didn’t look a bit like Whataburger so I passed.”
As you might gather from the above pronouncements, the company has a massive task ahead of it to gain acceptance. First and foremost is convincing Texans that something Canadian can be good. Second, selecting the right décor will be crucial. It can’t be perceived as too foreign (furrin in Texasspeak). Strategically placed spittoons are a must.
My prediction is that prior to opening the owners will bow to local public opinion and rename the company Tim Bob Hortons or Snortin’ Hortons.