Tim Hortons Versus Subway


Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is a chain of fast-food restaurants that work based on franchising. Being one of the largest chains of fast-food restaurants in Canada, the company has managed to create a chain all over the world using the franchising strategy. The chain used to be the restaurant that had been focused on coffee and donuts first, but now this restaurant serves numerous products which satisfy the clients.


Subways is a similar chain of fast-food restaurants that focus on the same franchising market techniques, but the main focus of the chain is salads and sandwiches. One of the main differences of this chain is that it tries to oppose itself to the traditional understanding of fast food by offering people healthy alternatives.

It is obvious that these two companies are competitors as they work in the same industry, still, the difference is obvious. Moreover, the companies try to implement different marketing strategies which make them successful.

Tim Hortons versus Subway

Push/pull system

One of the main differences the companies use is the marketing strategy. Being the leader in the fast-food industry, Subway uses the push business strategy. Supply chain delivery is mostly focused on the “need” problem when the marketing research is completed, the production process is started and the marketing is in action. Only in the final stage, the company checks what products are in demand and what customers prefer more.

Tim Hortons uses another business strategy in this case, pull demand. There are three main stages the product should come through, research and development, production, and marketing. The main difference between Tim Hortons from Subway is that the first one asks the question of what is necessary at each level of marketing. The demand is checked on the research stage, on the production, and at the marketing level.

It is rather difficult to dwell upon the advantages of disadvantages of each of the strategies as both of them deserve attention and may bring benefit to the companies. At the same time, the difference in strategy choice may be easily explained. Tim Hortons provides customers with a more varied option, that is why it should be aware that all the items are necessary. The possibility of substituting one product (e.g. coffee) with another one (e.g. salad is minimal). Subway offers its customers less number of products that is why there is no need to check the demand too often. The company is sure that the customers come to consume one of the offered products and in case of the absence of one of them it may be easily substituted.


The demand strategy presupposes other marketing methods used by the companies. Both of these companies use the Make to Assemble (MTA) method as it comprises the elements of “Make to Order” (MTO) and “Make to Stock” (MTS). MTA is also called a hybrid of MTSand MTO. The main idea of MTA used by both of the companies is that the forecast is provided based on the demand. In other words, the demand for the latest periods is considered and the customers are offered the products they want to consume at a definite time and within the definite period. It should b noted that the seasons should be taken into account while considering the demand. It is better to use the data not for one specific year, but for the number of years to consider the tendency.

Core competencies of the companies

It should be noted that both companies are competent in the fast-food industry where they provide customers with quality and fresh products. Still, the advertising strategies the companies use are different. Subway tries to implement the idea that the fast food in their chain is healthy using salads and sandwiches in its menu. Tim Hortons tries to provide the customers with the idea that people trust them for the time they are at the market and for the quality products they are provided with. The use of franchising strategy is also winning as thanks to it the trademarks are recognizable almost all over the world. Moreover, to improve its image among the customers, Tim Hortons tries to implement different social campaigns, like summer camps. This helps them communicate with the community and deliver the message that they bother not only about their profit but also the society in general.


In conclusion, it should be noted that having chosen similar market positions, franchising, Tim Hortons and Subway still provide different marketing strategies for reaching the similar purpose, profit gaining. Using different advertising campaigns and different strategy for attracting customers, these two companies remain highly competitive. The differences in the production and supply chain management systems do not prove that one of the companies is better than another one. The main focus should be paid to the proper use of the strategies rather than trying to copy those from each other.

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1. BusinessEssay. "Tim Hortons Versus Subway." September 21, 2023. https://business-essay.com/tim-hortons-versus-subway/.


BusinessEssay. "Tim Hortons Versus Subway." September 21, 2023. https://business-essay.com/tim-hortons-versus-subway/.