Tim Hortons franchisee sues parent company for $4 million over licence renewal

A Tim Hortons franchisee filed a $4-million lawsuit against the coffee-and-doughnut chain’s parent company after he says it refused to renew a license of one of his stores in bad faith.

“The actions of the defendant were callous, wanton and in total disregard of the rights of the plaintiff,” reads a lawsuit Mark Kuziora filed April 12 in the Ontario Superior Court against TDL Group Corp., a subsidiary of parent company Restaurant Brands International.

Kuziora owns two Tim Hortons locations in Toronto. The lease for the one at 200 Bay Street expires August 31.

Last spring, RBI started discussing future renovations of the Bay Street store with Kuziora, according to the lawsuit, and confirmed its established practice of “granting 100 per cent of term renewals for franchisees prepared to undertake renovations would be followed.”

Kuziora committed to the renovations with the understanding the company would renew his lease, according to the suit.

On March 27, Greg Hiltz, the area franchise lead for central Canada, informed Kuziora this would not happen, despite previously confirming the company had no plans to deviate from its standard practice.

The lawsuit claims RBI decided to reject the renewal in bad faith based on Kuziora’s tense relationship with management.

Kuziora belongs to the Great White North Franchisee Association, a group that claims to represent about half of Canada’s Tim Hortons franchisees and formed to voice the franchisees’ concerns.

He is also the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed by the GWNFA alleging RBI improperly used money from a national advertising fund, funnelling nearly $700 million earmarked for advertising, marketing and sales promotions to itself and TDL. RBI previously denied these allegations, which have not been proven in court.

RBI and the GWNFA have been embroiled in a public battle since the group formed more than a year ago, with the parent company largely choosing to ignore the association aside from specific remarks and filing legal action against them.

Tim Hortons president Alex Macedo recently admitted the company could have handled things better and said he’s spoken to GWNFA members on a cross-country tour of visits with franchisees aimed at repairing the relationship.

Neither RBI nor Tim Hortons immediately responded to a request for comment on Kuziora’s legal action, and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

Just Posted

Man dead in ATV collision in central Alberta

The Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a quad rollover collision that… Continue reading

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand “a roof too”

PARIS — Dozens of public housing advocates are protesting outside the gutted… Continue reading

Tesla gears up for fully self-driving cars amid skepticism

SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears poised to transform the… Continue reading

Grassy Narrows worries about fate of Trudeau Liberals’ promised treatment home

OTTAWA — The chief of a First Nation in northwestern Ontario long-plagued… Continue reading

P.E.I. Greens suspend activities after tragedy in campaign’s final days

CHARLOTTETOWN — With the provincial election campaign drawing to a close in… Continue reading

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Captain Ghislaine Landry leads Canada to victory at Kitakyushu Sevens

KITAKYUSHU, Japan — Captain Ghislaine Landry scored with no time remaining and… Continue reading

Marchand scores twice as Bruins force a seventh game with 4-2 win over Leafs

TORONTO — After a flying start in front of a raucous home… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan’s royal baby: Questions asked and answered

LONDON — The time is drawing near for the impending birth of… Continue reading

Prince memoir ‘The Beautiful Ones’ coming out in the fall

NEW YORK — The memoir Prince was working on at the time… Continue reading

‘The Curse of La Llorona’ reigns over weekend box office

LOS ANGELES — “The Curse of La Llorona” (yuh-ROH’-nuh) had only good… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25… Continue reading

Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack

TORONTO — The survivor guilt settled in moments after he saw all… Continue reading

‘Shocking violation’: Parish prepares to re-bury remains after grave plundered

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Largely untended for decades, the toppled and faded… Continue reading

Most Read