TORONTO — A group claiming to represent the majority of American Tim Hortons franchisees has filed a lawsuit against the fast-food giant’s U.S. division, its parent company, some of its affiliates and its former president, alleging they have engaged in an illegal and fraudulent business scheme.
The Great White North Franchisee Association USA Inc. alleges the company has used provisions in agreements to charge Tim Hortons franchisees as much as 50 per cent above what competitors pay for supplies like coffee, baking goods, meat and paper products.
The lawsuit filed in a Florida court alleges Tim Hortons affiliate TDL Group sells supplies and products to Tim Hortons, which then sells them to a distributor, which in turn sells them to franchisees.
The association says that chain means Tim Hortons franchisees are forced to purchase items for as much as $104 more for a case of applewood bacon, about $24 more for boxes of soft drinks and roughly $12 more for a case of plastic straws than Wendy’s franchisees pay.
The lawsuit complains that the marked up prices hurt franchisees and make their business economically prohibitive.
RBI and Tim Hortons did not immediately respond to The Canadian Press’s requests for comment.
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