Tim Hortons is getting ready to compete with Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. Starbucks, Rosier/News

The New York Daily News reports that Tim Hortons is brewing up a fresh strategy to take on Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The big Canadian coffee chain said Friday it would open hundreds of new cafés, including in New York City, that break the mold of Tim’s iconic coffee shops north of the border.

Tim Hortons already has 11 shops in the city – nine in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.

As part of a plan to open 900 stores in North America over the next three years, the company said it will build 300 more outlets in the U.S. That will increase its total of U.S. stores by more than 50%.

Rather than sticking with a format that has become a part of Canadian culture, Tim’s said it would open what it described as “redesigned upscale café/bake shops” that feature a menu that differs from the Canadian fare, including pastries baked on premises.

“The bottom line is that the Tim Hortons you know today will be dramatically different in four years from now,” CEO Don Schroeder said.

The company told industry analysts Friday it would locate the 300 new cafés in parts of the U.S. in which it already had a presence – mostly in New York, Ohio and Michigan.

“They are making the right move by targeting current markets. You just can’t continue to throw more stores out there. It’s like throwing bad money after bad money,” Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough told Reuters.

Tim Hortons currently has 3,015 shops in Canada and 563 in the U.S. Those numbers pale compared with Starbucks, which has more than 11,000 outlets in the U.S. alone, and Dunkin’ Donuts, which has 6,400 in its home market.

Also for 2010, the company expects sales at stores open for at least a year to increase by 3% to 5% in Canada and by 2% to 4% in the U.S.

Read More:  New York Daily News