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

Sunshine means open umbrellas at Ross Street Patio

Red Deer’s downtown public patio is open for the season

Five people charged in drug investigation

Red Deer RCMP seize drugs and guns

READER PHOTO: Heavy police presence in Morrisroe

Some Morrisroe residents were alarmed to see police officers with heavy rifles… Continue reading

Notley to skip premiers conference so she can focus on pipeline deal

EDMONTON — There won’t be any fireworks between the premiers of Alberta… Continue reading

WATCH: Ellis Bird Farm open for summer

There is something magical about the Ellis Bird Farm located outside of… Continue reading

Black bear kills dog that jumped out car window in Jasper National Park

JASPER, Alta. — A black bear is being watched in Jasper National… Continue reading

Watch: Videos of two shrieking lynx posted by Ontario couple go viral

An Ontario man who shot a viral video of two lynx shrieking… Continue reading

Royal wedding sermon on ‘love’ was about more than the marriage of Harry and Meghan

The sermon delivered at Saturday’s royal wedding was about the love shared… Continue reading

That ‘American Idol’ season finale twist was a stroke of evil genius

So now that “American Idol” airs on a Disney property … was… Continue reading

Rare tiger cub dies at N.B. zoo after being born with health issues

MONCTON, N.B. — Staff at a New Brunswick zoo are mourning the… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs lose Lamoriello, Hunter as executives leave roles

TORONTO — The fallout from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office reshuffle… Continue reading

The ‘King of the Commode’ seeks an heir to his thrones

ALAMO HEIGHTS, Texas — FOR SALE: One tiny kingdom, with many thrones.… Continue reading

School victims honoured at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month