OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons said on Thursday that Quebec and Western Canada represent its fastest-growing domestic markets and an opportunity for further expansion.
"In Quebec, we see opportunity to triple the size of our chain," Chief Executive Don Schroeder said at a JP Morgan conference.
"In Western Canada, although it's more challenging we still see opportunities. Challenges come from the economic growth in the region and corresponding real estate and construction cost increases, as well as labor shortages."
Well known simply as Tims in Canada, the restaurant chain plans to open 120 to 140 new locations in Canada and between 90 and 110 in the United States this year. The company says it currently has more than 2,750 outlets across Canada, and over 350 in the United States.
In Atlantic Canada, the company said it has one location for every 6,000 people and in Ontario it has one for every 8,000.
"As a result, some people mistakenly believe that our prospects for continued growth in Canada have come to an end. That's simply not the case," said Schroeder.
"We are significantly less developed in Quebec and Western Canada and we have opportunities in major urban markets as well."
Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson