Tim Hortons ‘modernizes’ Roll Up The Rim to be more sustainable

The QSR is looking to reverse the fortunes of its flagship promotion while also pushing customers to register with its loyalty program.

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Tim Hortons has unveiled its planned changes to get Roll Up The Rim back on a winning streak, with a focus on reducing waste and increasing engagement with its loyalty program.

Though the contest will run for four weeks, the rollable cups will only be available for the first two. After that, customers will only be able to play through the digital version of the contest: when they purchase a hot beverage, members that are registered with the Tims Rewards loyalty program can scan their card or app to receive a “digital roll” that can be redeemed within the app or on the contest microsite.

To further cut down on the amount of paper cups used during the contest, any customer who purchases their beverage with a reusable cup will be given three digital rolls through the loyalty app, giving those who may have previously been excluded from the contest a chance to participate. On March 10, Tim Hortons will give away 1.8 million reusable mugs at its stores to encourage people to switch over to a more sustainable option.

Beyond sustainability efforts, the restaurant is also “retiring” the “please play again” for those who don’t instantly win a prize upon rolling. The digital rolls will enter customers into one of four weekly draws for $100,000, while non-winning paper cup rolls will push people to the app in order to be entered into the draw next time.

“We listened to the feedback from our guests, who wanted us to modernize the program,” said Hope Bagozzi, who joined Tim Hortons earlier this year as CMO, in a release announcing the changes. She added that the changes “reflect the future of the Tim Hortons brand, while still embracing the best of our heritage.”

The contest begins on March 1 and will run for four weeks – less than half the length of last year’s 10-week contest period.

Though Roll Up The Rim has been Tim Hortons’ flagship promotion, its fortunes have not fared as well recently, with parent company RBI citing lower-than-expected returns on engagement for disappointing sales numbers in each of the last two years. The company promised changes to contest, with many suggesting digitizing elements of the contest would fit better with the consumption habits of younger customers and address broader concerns about sustainability and the environmental impact of single-use waste.

Aside from modernizing the program, the changes also heavily involve the Tims Reward program, another area Tim Hortons has been looking to improve performance. While the loyalty program has gained nearly eight million active users since being launched last year, only 25% have registered their physical card to the Tim Hortons mobile app, leaving the QSR locked out from many benefits a loyalty program offers, such as being able to contact members outside of the store and a full picture of customer purchase and behaviour data.

Earlier this month, the QSR announced changes to its loyalty program that will take effect shortly before Roll Up The Rim starts, changing to a points-based system that give users more options for how they can be redeemed, such as baked goods, sandwiches and more types of beverages. It will also offer additional benefits to users that have registered, while unregistered members can link their email to the account.