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Tim Hortons to open in China

The brand plans to open 1,500 units in the country over the next decade.
Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is going to China.

The Oakville, Ontario-based chain on Wednesday said it has a master franchise joint venture deal with Cartesian Capital Group to open more than 1,500 locations in the country over the next decade.

The deal continues parent company Restaurant Brands International’s aggressive development outside of North America.

3G Capital-backed Burger King acquired the Canadian chain in 2014 with the intent to take the brand into countries outside of Canada and the U.S. 3G had used similar joint venture master franchise deals to quickly add Burger King units internationally and has been doing the same with Tims.

“We have two main priorities at Tim Hortons: Building and strengthening our brand in Canada and expanding our iconic Canadian brand to the rest of the world,” Tim Hortons President Alex Macedo said in a statement.

Tim Hortons has since signed deals to add locations in Spain and Mexico, among other places.

“Tim Hortons has a long, rich history of providing guests with quality food and premium coffee,” Peter Yu, managing partner of Cartesian, said in a statement. “We plan to expand that tradition to China, drawing on 20 years of experience building businesses in China and around the world.”

Tim Hortons has faced some discontent among its Canadian franchisees, which has been cited as one reason for the chain’s generally weak same-store sales in its key market, including a 0.1% increase in the first three months of this year.

Parent company Restaurant Brands International recently named Duncan Fulton the company’s chief corporate officer, amid efforts to improve its public relations.

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