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Canada  

Tims menu price hike

Tim Hortons franchisees knew price increases on some menu items were coming, but the slight bump on breakfast menus the company confirmed Friday falls short of the 10 per cent across-the-menu hike those grappling with Ontario's minimum wage hike feel they need, according to a franchisee association source.

"Some restaurants in select markets have slightly increased prices for some breakfast menu items," parent company Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR) said on Friday.

"Regular adjustments to menu prices are a normal part of the restaurant business,'' the Oakville, Ont.-based company said in a brief statement, making no connection between the move and the minimum wage controversy that's landed the chain in hot water.

A source from the Great White North Franchisee Association, a group not sanctioned by the company that aims to voice the concerns of the roughly half of Canadian franchisees it represents, confirmed RBI announced the price adjustment to franchisees weeks prior.

The adjustments vary by area, the source said, but were added to a handful of items — mostly breakfast combos — and prices went up about 20 cents in many regions.

The timing of RBI's internal announcement indicates it has not bowed to mounting pressure from some franchisees, an industry group and the public to resolve how some store owners handled a 21 per cent jump in Ontario's minimum wage, which kicked in Jan. 1.

Some Tim Hortons franchisees in the province eliminated paid breaks, fully-covered health and dental plans, and other perks for their workers. The changes came to light after a letter from the owners of two Cobourg, Ont., franchisees circulated on social media.



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