Coffee war: McDonald's free coffee v. Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim Special

Posted Mar 2, 2011 by Andrew Moran
Every year around this time, Toronto coffee lovers participate in the middle of a coffee war between McDonald's and Tim Hortons; McDonald's provides free coffees and Tim Hortons has their famous "Roll Up the Rim" contest.
Last year, local media outlets hyped up the Tim Hortons vs. McDonald’s coffee campaign where McDonald’s attempted to counter the coffee giant’s Roll Up the Rim annual contest – Country Style also took part by handing out free coffees on Wednesday mornings. This year, McDonald’s has done it again.
As of Feb. 21, Tim Horton’s launched their 25th annual Roll Up the Rim contest where they roll up the rim on a hot beverage to see if they won a free coffee, doughnut or other expensive prizes, including 3D Panasonic televisions, Toyota Matrixes, mountain bikes and others.
One week later, McDonald’s started their semi-annual promotion in which they give out free small coffees. The company is hoping that these promotions will increase their coffee sales and one executive told the Toronto Star in March 2010 that it has.
“We’ve seen a 30 percent increase in sales,” said McDonald’s Ontario manager of communications, Stephanie Sorenson.
However, despite the numerous coffee shops and fast-food restaurants selling coffee, Tim Hortons maintains 76 percent of the Canadian baked goods and coffee market. It also controls 22 percent of the fast-food market in the country.
One McDonald’s employee, who has worked at the establishment for several years now in uptown Toronto, told Digital Journal that she sees more and more Torontonians every year purchasing coffee.
“We’re starting to beat Tim Hortons down the street,” said the McDonald’s employee who was handling the free coffee line.
Despite the success of Tim Hortons’ campaign, some patrons may experience difficulty actually rolling up that rim, which is why they have techniques on their website. Such methods include “Squeeze & RRRoll,” “Tug-O-RRRoll,” “Firm, Steady, RRRoll!” and “The One-Thumber.”