The Great White North Franchisee Association (GWNFA) – the largest single-brand franchisee association in Canada – is an alliance of loyal Tim Hortons franchisees from coast to coast. GWNFA was formed to protect the interests of store owners, and address mismanagement of franchise operations by The TDL Group Corp and its parent company Restaurant Brands International.

GWNFA’s primary goal is to ensure that Tim Hortons franchisees are able to deliver on the exceptional quality, value and customer experience that the Tim Hortons brand has become known for – and Canadians deserve and expect.

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A letter from David Hughes, President of GWNFA

The Great White North Franchisee Association was formed in March 2017 by a group of concerned Tim Hortons franchisees in response to the mismanagement of the Tim Hortons franchise by TDL Group Corp. and parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI). Changes instituted by RBI over the past two years have shaken the system, threatened the brand and affected the ability of franchisees to carry on viable business.

From coast to coast, when Canadians walk into their local Tim Hortons, there is a sense of community and camaraderie that makes them feel at home. The current RBI franchise business model, which is focused on profits above all else, puts the Tim Hortons that Canadians know and love in jeopardy.

GWNFA’s immediate concerns regarding the mismanagement of Tim Hortons by RBI include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. RBI’s profit center re-engineering to transfer wealth from franchisees to the franchisor;

2. Cost-cutting measures that result in Tim Hortons quality going down;

3. Unattainable standards through its Global Performance System (GPS);

4. Use of advertising funds; and

5. General lack of transparency and accountability by RBI in its relations with franchisees.

Within weeks of organizing, GWNFA was able to make a positive impact on behalf of franchisees across Canada. We put an end to profit-loss initiatives, and influenced RBI to delay the launch of an order-and-pay mobile app that would have negatively impacted customer goodwill and financials.

RBI set up an Advisory Board but it does not serve the best interests of franchisees. It was necessary to create an association separate from the Advisory Board to articulate and advocate for the best interest of franchisees, team members and customers.

We’ve reached critical mass with our membership, and the more members that join, the stronger our association will be. With strong representation, it is likely that we can effect meaningful change and successfully advocate on behalf of Tim Hortons store owners.

Ultimately, we want a fair and collaborative relationship with RBI, but to get there we need an independent voice.
To learn more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact GWNFA.


David Hughes
President, Great White North Franchisee Association

Our Mandate

The Great White North Franchisee Association is a not-for-profit organization formed to articulate and advocate for the needs, interests and objectives of Tim Hortons franchisees in the context of a balanced, constructive, co-operative and mutually-respectful relationship with the franchisor, Restaurant Brands International (RBI)

GWNFA intends to facilitate and improve communication between members and RBI. We want to work collaboratively with members and RBI to deliver the exceptional quality, value and customer experience that the Tim Hortons brand has become known for.