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Tim Hortons launches in Korea


On Dec. 14, Tim Hortons–Canada’s highest-selling coffee franchise–is opening in Gangnam, South Korea. Even more, the company has announced plans for a second chain near Tehran Boulevard, Seolleong. Currently under Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the management company for Burger King and Popeyes, Tim Hortons is following other Western franchises like Wingstop, launching on Jan. 23. 

Tim Hortons was founded in Canada in 1964 and opened 5,700 stores worldwide since. In Asia, the Canadian franchise has reached China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. 

“I’m really excited to have Tim Hortons Korea,” Irene Nam (12), previous Canadian resident, said. “Original drinks like their hot chocolate aren’t in Korea and I missed them. Also, I always got snacks and drinks from Tim Hortons back in Canada, so it also brings back some nostalgia. 

Along with confirming the opening date, Tim Hortons started advertisements, creating Tim Hortons Korea Instagram ( They began several events such as the “Tim’s Heart Package,” which involves an invitation pre-opening. They are also planning a giveaway with Air Canada to gift one of the visitors from the first three opening days a round trip to Vancouver, Canada. 

With positive media coverage, some critics have argued that Tim Hortons could become a rival to major Western franchises in Korea like Starbucks, targeting both foreigners and locals. 

“I think Tim Hortons will be a success,” Dayeon Han (12), a Tim Hortons follower, said. “Looking at Western franchises that recently launched in Korea like Wingstop and Five Guys, both Koreans and foreigners have been rushing to those restaurants to either check out novelties or remember past experiences. Even more, I think people who used to live in Canada, including myself, are especially ready to eat at one of Canada’s best chains.” 

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