In case you haven’t heard, Tim Horton’s the mega chain from Canada, has taken over some Dunkin’ Donuts locations. My Canadian friends were all dying to hear my thoughts on it. I devised a genius plan. I was going to buy the same doughnuts from Tim Horton’s and Dunkin’ Donuts and do a side-by-side comparison of some staple flavors. To top it off, I was going to do it blindfolded!

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When I arrived at Dunkin’ Donuts 370 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017 I was disappointed in their selection. I asked, “is this all you have?” Yup, by 4pm, they are out of Boston Kreme and Bavarian Cream, as well as Apple N’ Spice or Apple Crumb. It looked kind of sad and pathetic, but I picked up the four that I thought would be available at Tim Horton’s, the jelly, plain glazed, marble frosted, and the chocolate glazed cake doughnut, bought an iced coffee for my friend for keeping me company and we were on our way.

timhortons_logo2

Tim Horton’s 47 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 opened this week, not far away. We saw a short line of about 6 or 7 people when we arrived. Five minutes later, I chatted with the lady in front of us about how the line had not moved and there’s three people behind the counter. I noticed that the doughnuts on display looked a bit more enticing, but still, a rather sparse variety. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do much of a side-by-side comparison, because they had Boston Kreme and Apple Fritter, but no jelly or marble frosted (or similar). They didn’t even have plain glazed, so I bought the sour cream glazed.

As the line moved at a crawl, more people came in behind us, so the TH staff attempted to re-organize the line, managing to confuse the heck out of everyone by making the front of the line closer to the door and the back of the line closer to the register. Each new person that came in went to the front of the line thinking it’s the back. When it finally got to my turn, the story managed to go from bad to worse.

It is really hard to do justice to the severity of how bad the customer experience was. Two women try to talk to me at the same time, one trying to take the order while the other tries to ring me up. One women seems to try to run the show, snapping at her co-worker, and snaps at me constantly to rush my answers. Literally, as I list the doughnuts, she keeps snapping, “what you want? and…and…” As she grows impatient with me, she is exhibiting such attitude in her voice and rolling her eyes at me, but ironically, she does not understand a thing I am saying, continuously getting the order wrong, to the point where the co-worker starts rolling her eyes and my friend starts to try and help explain differently. Eventually, the co-worker is yelling at her because she cannot understand the simple things I am saying, “one blueberry fritter, one sour cream glazed…” I still went home with the wrong Timbits. I ask for a bag to carry it all in. No bags.

Again, I’m not sure you can understand how terrible this experience was. You had to be there! I am sort of shocked since I was told by Canadian friends that Tim Horton’s was known for the quality of customer service. Lon and I also noted particularly good service over-all when we were in Vancouver. Perhaps, it can’t be replicated here.

Getting to the products, I already know I don’t like DD coffee. I did years ago but my last 4 attempts failed miserably. I find it very acidic now. Yesterday, I tried a TH iced coffee and it looked like murky water. My friend looked at it and said, “it looks watery.” I took a sip, confirmed that it was and awful tasting, and threw it out.

Lon and I sat down for the doughnut tasting. The Chocolate Cake Glazed Doughnut was the only one I managed to get from both places. Both of them were bad, neither tasted like chocolate, but Lon thought the DD one was edible while the TH one had a weird taste to it.

Dunkin' Donuts 3

For Dunkin’ Donuts, the Plain Glaze and Marble Frosted were both dry. The doughnut part of the jelly doughnut was better, a bit fluffier, but pretty skimpy on the jelly. Ehh.

Dunkin' Donuts

For Tim Horton’s, The Apple Fritter is not identifiably apple. It’s more like cinnamon coffee cake, a very dense one, not at all like a doughnut. The Blueberry Fritter doesn’t taste much like blueberry either. It’s dry and dense and tastes like bread with glaze. The Sour Cream Glazed was tolerable to Lon, but too sweet for me. The Blueberry Cake doughnut ended up being the best one. It was moist and tasted like blueberry, although it was an artificial taste.

Tim Horton's 2

You’ll notice in the pic above that the Boston Kreme doughnut is stuck to wax paper. Once you removed it, most of the chocolate came off. Then we cut it open and saw that there was no cream at all. There was a hole but they forgot to fill it. Pathetic!

TH Boston Kreme

There was also a plain cake Timbit that Lon thought was edible, but overall, we were severely disappointed.

Timbits

This was a very week challenge of Tim Horton’s vs. Dunkin Donuts. Home team won by a narrow margin, but really they both loose because we’ll never buy doughnuts or coffee from either one again. They both suck!

posted by jessica at 09:15 AM Filed under Avoid Like the Plague, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.