by Larry Austin
Tim Hortons opened a second restaurant on Grand Island Thursday morning with hopes for adding a third or even a fourth.
Wendy and Bryan Clark of Williamsville, owners of Clark Holdings Inc., opened the new Tim Hortons at 2366 Grand Island Blvd., to go along with their other Island location on the boulevard at Staley Road.
Jon Maurer, regional marketing manager for Tim Hortons, said opening the smaller (1,340 square feet, seating nine) restaurant is an example of a new "hybrid" restaurant philosophy serving a growing drive-thru market.
"We have started doing this in areas around Buffalo. With Grand Island's other location, we have such a strong, loyal customer base over there. So this is really meant to just offset traffic at that drive-thru," Maurer said. "The dining room is nice over there, so people can still enjoy that."
"The franchisee is the same owner, and we want to help that restaurant and the customers that come through it to give them a faster way to start their day by having a second restaurant."
"And we're far enough away from the other restaurant to give a different traffic pattern somewhat," Maurer said.
The new restaurant, managed by Tom Nugent, will employ about 20 people. The company is still hiring workers and taking applications throughwww.timhortons.com.
"It's a full menu here: breakfast, lunch, soup, sandwiches," Maurer noted.
Islanders can look forward to a grand opening celebration in the next two weeks, with a free doughnut with a coffee purchase.
If the new restaurant is successful, Bryan Clark said, the company could add two more locations on the Island.
"I think Grand Island is great, it's just taken us a long time to get the second location," Clark said. "But a third and fourth, I'm hoping will follow. I think the Island's capable, but just we've just got to see how quickly this one picks up."
"As soon as we get to a certain level of sales, that will be the trigger to put the other locations in," Clark said. "Grand Island has been a great market for us."