Elissa Elan writes in Nation’s Restaurant News that Free coffee and pastries were the order of the day Monday morning as employees of the Riese Organization, operators of the first Tim Hortons bakery-cafes in New York, passed out $5 gift cards to commuters here.
As part of the “Back to the Grind” giveaway, Riese employees, some of whom were dressed as giant coffee cups, handed out 7,000 gift cards good for coffee and baked goods to people in Manhattan’s Penn Station and Grand Central Station, as well as workers at 22 Court St. in Brooklyn.
“We know how tough it is to get back to work after summer vacation and hoped to sweeten the transition a little for our customers and friends,” said Dennis Riese, chief executive and chairman of the Riese Organization.
But this was the first time the event, which has been held annually for 15 years, featured Tim Hortons products. In July, the Riese Organization ended its franchise agreement with Dunkin’ Donuts and converted all 13 of its stores to Tim Hortons, a Canada-based brand and a Dunkin’ competitor.
Earlier this year, a spokesman for Tim Hortons said the company planned to open more stores in the New York metropolitan area.
Riese operates about 80 restaurants in New York City under the Tim Hortons, T.G.I. Friday’s, Houlihan’s, Pizza Hut and KFC brands. Its proprietary concepts include Charley O’s, Tads Steaks, Nedicks and Lindy’s.