The Tim Hortons restaurant chain has chosen the Dayton area as one of two test markets in the U.S. for its new panini sandwiches.
“Dayton, from our perspective, is one of our key growth markets,” said Mike Meilleur, senior vice president of U.S. operations for Tim Hortons. The company’s U.S. operations are based in Dublin, Ohio outside of Columbus. The other test market is Rochester, N.Y.
Tim Hortons has 23 locations in the greater Dayton area, including stores in Troy and Bellefontaine that were renovated last year to become concept restaurants for future store renovations, Meilleur said. The new panini sandwiches to be tested over the next few weeks in Dayton and Rochester were offered at the Troy and Bellefontaine stores after the renovations, and were “very well-received” by customers, Meilleur said. If the broader test-market reception is equally successful, the sandwiches will be rolled out nationwide, the vice president said.
The panini sandwiches being test-marketed here include Tuscan Chicken, Pesto Chicken, Chipotle Turkey, Smoked Ham & Cheese, Bacon, and Tomato & Cheese. The price is $4.29. Diners can order a half-sandwich and soup for $5.59. A Grilled Cheese Duo is also offered, for $3.29.
Tim Hortons, which is most associated with breakfast, has been moving more aggressively to capture a greater share of the lunch market, Meilleur said. Its restaurants offer deli sandwiches, wraps and toasted sandwiches, as well as macaroni and cheese menu item that also was initially test-marketed in Dayton. Lunch and dinner account for more than 70 percent of dollars spent at “quick-service” restaurants, which include fast-food chains.
The company kicks off a four-week print and broadcast advertising campaign in support of the panini sandwiches rollout today, March 28, Meilleur said.
Tim Hortons opened its first Dayton restaurant in 1997 in Centerville. Its stores employ more than 500 people in the Miami Valley, a Tim Hortons spokeswoman saidTweet