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Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons Essay

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Updated: Aug 4th, 2021

Debates about coffee exist since Hortons and Starbucks, the two major coffee joints, were launched. Both Hortons and Starbucks have some similar features and the common feature is that they both serve coffee and donuts. Hortons and Starbucks serve more coffee than any other product.

Certainly, Starbucks is much more famous than Tim Hortons since it provides quality products, free internet access, and various samples for its customers to try. It has popularized itself in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (Walsh, 2010). Starbucks is using different approaches to cope with current competitive settings and provides quality products which satisfy its customers.

Services of Starbucks and Hortons

Starbucks provides quality products which most customers have appreciated despite their prices. Customers who sign up for Starbucks become members of Starbucks rewards, their balances are protected if their cards are stolen or misplaced, and obtain gifts on their birthdays.

These are not the only benefits customers receive from Starbucks which have made it more popular than Hortons. Starbucks has made history by becoming the first company to obtain ten million fans on Facebook, social networking site. They are ahead of Coca-Cola by more than three million fans.

Starbucks has participated in supporting organization like Starbucks China Education Project and China Soong Ching Ling Foundation. They donated US$6.75 million to support projects intended at supporting teachers and children in rural regions of China (QSR, 2012). Starbucks also donated US$800,000 to the China Women Development Foundation that was initiated to help projects which are intended at supporting Chinese women receive access to essential services like safe drinking water (QSR, 2012).


One thing which mostly differentiates the two is their prices, where Hortons is much cheaper than Starbucks. Tim Hortons is less expensive and favors workers coming from small businesses. Most people consider that Hortons is involved in unfair trade and this makes their products cheaper than Starbucks.

Farmers who sell their products to Hortons are paid low prices. However, Starbucks ensure that these farmers are paid correct amount of money for their products they supply to Starbucks. Most people consider that Starbucks provide quality products to their customers compared to Hortons.

Starbucks alters their drinks precisely the way they want it, while Hortons often add flavor substances to their drinks to increase taste and reduce extra expenses (Barnea, 2011). Although Tim Hortons is a fastest developing coffee joint in Canada and United States, Starbucks is also catching up due to their quality products it offers to its customers.

Most companies and businesses are going green in this competitive environment. Starbucks offers environmental friendly products. It provides sleeves to put on coffee cups to prevent hands from burning and sleeves are manufactured from 60 percent consumer fiber. Even their coffee cups are manufactured from recycled papers that make their products eco-friendly. Hortons does not provide these sleeves and their cups are doubled. They are not manufactured from consumer fibers or recycled papers to prevent hands from burning.

Strategies of Starbucks

Starbucks has opened more branches than Hortons. The key motivation which pushes Starbucks to launch more branches globally is to obtain access to bigger markets. It benefits from various associations and joint ventures to develop its market control overseas.

It has opened more branches outside Canada and United States that have been developed by its aim of becoming environmental leader in all aspects of their business. Starbucks intends to manage a business that possesses quality standards and is beyond reproach in the domestic and international business market. Starbucks expanded its business internationally to increase its market limit and carry on to develop its business.

Starbucks has opened branches in 43 countries due to its target of keeping a better and stronger market (Walsh, 2010). All countries which Starbucks has opened branches have their own practices and cultural differences. Starbucks uses associations and joint ventures to help ease some of the difficulties of growing overseas. There are around 750 stores which have been opened in Japan and these were made possible by joint ventures with Japanese companies which permitted it to achieve cultural understanding (Walsh, 2010).

Starbucks has been working to provide a range of essential products, but it is not limiting itself in new products either. It works to make new products for various geographic regions due to the conflicting cultural experiences which match them. Starbucks is eager to respond to various conflicting cultural and environmental factors and due to that, it has been equipped to develop radically as a company since its started initially in a small store in Seattle.


Both Starbucks and Hortons are well-known companies in several countries. They have their own strategies which make their customers keep on coming to buy their products. Starbucks is much more famous than Hortons because of its quality products. However, more employees from small businesses visit frequently Hortons to have cheaper and affordable coffee and other products.

Prices at Starbucks are almost double the prices of products in Hortons, but most customers consider that their products are high quality than Hortons. Starbucks has expanded into international market using different strategies to attain its target and prevent all challenges which are experienced in different cultures abroad.


Barnea, A. (2011). Lack of peripheral vision: How Starbucks failed in Israel. African Journal of Marketing Management , 3(4): 78-88.

QSR. (2012). Starbucks to Support Rural Education in China. Web.

Walsh, M. (2010). Starbucks Tops 10 Million Facebook Fans. Retrieved from

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