Tims launches employee recruitment push

Who: Tim Hortons, with Gut for creative, along with MightyHive and Horizon Media.

What: “Join your local Tims team,” a national employee recruitment campaign for the QSR brand.

When & Where: The campaign launched on Aug. 2 and runs through Aug. 22 across TV, social and digital. All of the creative assets link to the Tim Hortons application page. There is also point-of-purchase advertising and CRM, with Tims using QR codes that link directly to the application page.

Why: Labour shortages were a major concern for the restaurant industry even prior the pandemic, but the situation has become worse in the past year as many people went home and simply never returned or found work elsewhere. In an earnings call last month, José Cil, president of Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International, said that staffing “continues to be a challenge” for the company. RBI opened a new restaurant around the world every six hours during the second quarter, he said.

“Labour shortages have emerged across the restaurant sector and many other industries globally, including in Canada,” said Solange Bernard, senior director, marketing communications for Tim Hortons in an email interview. “It’s a challenge that Tim Hortons restaurant owners are working through, just like every other restaurant owner in the country.”

In some cases, it has resulted in Tims franchisees working additional hours to make up for the staffing shortages, said Bernard.

According to Statistics Canada’s most recent Labour Force Survey, employment rose by 35,000 jobs in accommodation and food services as businesses started to reopen in July, but the restaurant industry in particular continues to struggle to find employees.

In April, a McDonald’s in the U.S. went viral after someone posted a photo of a sign taped to its drive-through menu board asking for customers to be patient because it was short-staffed. “No one wants to work anymore,” the sign read.

How: The creative from Gut is straightforward in its approach, focusing on a Tim Hortons employee named Samuel as he makes his way through his neighbourhood to his job at one of its restaurants. The accompanying voiceover says that working at Tims helps employees make connections and gain long-lasting skills, serving their future while serving their community.

And we quote: “We’re happy to support our restaurant owners’ recruitment needs across Canada with this campaign that touches on how Tim Hortons team members are valued members of their local community… And as more of us are returning to our pre-COVID routines, we know many of our guests are looking forward to reconnecting with the people at Tims they’ve missed. We also wanted to showcase how young team members learn lifelong skills and experiences working at a Tim Hortons restaurant that helps set them up for their futures.” —Solange Bernard, chief marketing officer, Tim Hortons

Chris Powell