Tim Hortons’ parent company made an undisclosed depreciation in the first quarter after recycling 81 million Roll Up The Rim To Win cups that were removed from restaurants due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Literally as we drop the cups in all the restaurants, COVID has struck,” said Duncan Fulton, chief executive of Restaurant Brands International, in a phone call Friday with BNN Bloomberg.
“And we looked at it and said,” We can’t have millions of responsible people wrapping these rims with their mouths, then ripping them off and handing them over to people. ” “
Fulton said the fast food conglomerate had considered delaying Roll Up The Rim or canceling it altogether, but ultimately chose to migrate the entire online promotion.
“We’ve already deployed so many marketing assets, so we said,” Look, the right thing to do here is collect the cups, recycle them responsibly and go digital. “
Neither Restaurant Brands nor Fulton have agreed to disclose the extent of the impairment on the paper cups.
This year’s promotion, which Tim Hortons launched later than in previous years, came at a critical time for the once-thriving chain.
Amid the slump in sales, Restaurant Brands hoped that a redesigned, partially digital contest would spark renewed interest in this decades-old promotion.
Unfortunately for Tim Hortons, the timing of the contest launch couldn’t have been worse.
“We made the decision to cancel the cuts around March 8 and COVID struck like a freight train around March 13,” said Fulton. “So the whole Roll Up campaign coincided with countrywide blockages and closings and routine changes. “
Tim Hortons comparable store sales fell 10.3% in the first quarter of 2020, which executives attributed to the brand’s exposure to coffee and breakfast foods.
These categories have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic as routines are disrupted, company officials noted in a conference call on Friday.
Fulton said Tim Hortons had saved a few Roll Up The Rim 2020 mugs for posterity, and they could be the last. He told BNN Bloomberg that the company had not decided to bring back cups for the promotion in 2021.