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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Bradford to open first Tim Hortons drive-thru, promising 50 new job opportunities

Bradford’s first Tim Hortons branch will create 50 new jobs, according to the Canadian food giants.

In May an application for signage revealed that Tim Hortons planned to open a drive thru restaurant on a vacant plot of land at the junction of Manchester Road and Mill Lane.

Now a full application for the development has been submitted, and reveals more about the company’s plans for the site.

The land was the former home to the West Yorkshire Transport Museum from the early 80s until the mid 90s. It has been a car dealership since then.

The new application reveals that the company plans to operate a 24-hour drive thru with 32 parking spaces.

The business will create 50 full time jobs, and open next year if plans are approved.
Despite the drive thru element being a prominent part of the application, the company argues most customers will eat in.

The application says Council planners should not consider the business as a takeaway – arguing that it should instead be considered “a restaurant chain with a coffee and bakehouse offer.”

The application says: “For the avoidance of doubt, this planning application should not be taken to mean that Tim Hortons’ offer comprises a predominantly hot food takeaway offer.

“On the contrary, an analysis of sales from existing Tim Hortons drive-thru premises confirms that the total sales of hot food for consumption off the premises only comprises around 15 per cent of sales and as such cannot be regarded as Tim Hortons’ primary business.

“The Tim Hortons offer is different from that provided by the likes of McDonalds, KFC and Burger King and is most comparable to that provided by coffee shop operators such as Costa or Starbucks, with a substantial part of the offer comprising hot and cold beverages and bakery items, including an extensive choice of donuts.”

The distinction between coffee shop/restaurant and take away could prove important in this application – as Bradford Council has stricter planning policies relating to new take aways.

The application adds: “The proposed development represents the re-use of an underutilised parcel of land in a gateway location that has been continuously marketed for commercial purposes since becoming vacant in October 2020.”

It lists 26 sites in the city centre that were considered as possible restaurant locations, but dismisses them all as not being suitable for a drive thru.

A decision on the application is expected later this month.

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