Freshly-brewed coffee sits on a hot plate in a Tim Hortons outlet in Oakville

Freshly-brewed coffee sits on a hot plate in a Tim Hortons outlet in Oakville

Tims cuts 350 at HQ and regional offices

Tim Hortons cuts 350 staff at its headquarters and regional offices

By David Friend, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – About 350 employees lost their jobs at Tim Hortons this week in cuts focused mainly on the company’s headquarters and regional offices.

A spokeswoman told The Canadian Press on Thursday that all affected employees had been notified and the layoffs were within commitments made to Industry Canada to maintain certain job levels.

In total, roughly 15 per cent of the 2,300 employees were included in the reduction, centred on its headquarters as well as regional offices and distribution centres across the country.

Tim Hortons merged with Burger King under Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR) late last year and the new owner was widely expected to cut staff.

Part of Ottawa’s stipulations in approving the merger restricted the company from laying off more than 20 per cent of employees across its offices nationwide, said Industry Canada representative Jake Enwright.

The company plans to keep its headquarters in Oakville, Ont., and Restaurant Brands also pledged to maintain staff levels at Tim Hortons franchised restaurants for five years.

Corporate staff began to receive pink slips earlier this week, but the company declined to provide figures until after the reorganization was complete.

“There are very difficult and necessary choices,” company spokeswoman Alexandra Cygal said Thursday.

Tim Hortons has warehouse distribution centres in Calgary; Guelph and Kingston, Ont.; Debert, N.S.; and Aldergrove, B.C.

Since the Tim Hortons and Burger King merger was announced last year, some analysts and franchisees have voiced concerns over the reputation of 3G Capital, the Brazilian investment firm that owns roughly 70 per cent of the merged company.

3G Capital is known for stripping the assets of acquired companies to boost profits, laying off thousands of employees at food company Heinz and beer company Anheuser-Busch when it took over their operations.

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