McDonald’s Wages Breakfast War on Tim Hortons: The Most American Versus Canadian Business Story of All Time
Forget what’s going on with NAFTA talks, the real showdown between U.S and Canadian business interests is taking place in the drive-thru line. This story which originally appeared in The Star describes the battle between McDonalds and Tim Hortons for your breakfast dollar! McDonalds Canada recently added bagels to their “Mc Cafe” menu.
Anyone who follows my work knows I do NOT spend money on things like coffee and eating out, but loads of people currently do. In fact, bagels of all things is a billion dollar industry in Canada, with Canadians eating nearly 300 million per year, which seems like a crazy number for a country of 37 million people.
How many years are you willing to cut your retirement back by because you were too lazy to pop your bagel in the toaster?
Lets just let one thing sink in for a second, a country with a savings rate of 4.2% and over $2 Trillion in household debt, spends over a billion per year on bagels.
The bagel offensive is the latest escalation in the breakfast cold-war brewing (could not resist the pun) between these two fast food superpowers. In 2008 McDonald’s began serving coffee in Canadian locations and has been making inroads with it’s McCafe menu over the past 10 years. The past year has seen McDonalds become increasingly aggressive, making its breakfast menu available all day and even going so far as to challenge Tim Horton’s during its famous “roll up the rim” contest by offering “any size coffee” for just $1.
Who will win the breakfast war? Maybe Mcdonalds, maybe Tim Hortons, but one thing is for sure, Canadian households are the clear loser in all of this. “Breakfast food” such as bread and eggs are some of the cheapest foods out there if you buy it at a grocery store, but have huge markups at restaurants.
Food is the 3rd largest expenditure by the average canadian household, making up nearly 14% of spending. The more Canadians are willing to spend on eating out and other “conveniences”, the less of our hard earned money we have left to save for retirement.
The more often you hit the drive thru for breakfast on your way to work rather than making breakfast at home, the more likely you are to be working into your 60’s and 70’s and beyond. How many years are you willing to cut your retirement back by because you were too lazy to pop your bagel in the toaster?