Tim Hortons to replace Books & Bytes

Campus Auxiliary Services plans on replacing Milne Library’s café Books & Bytes with a Tim Hortons, according to Mark Scott, executive director of CAS. Books & Bytes provides an array of food options for students including baked goods, snacks, coffee and panini sandwiches, while Tim Hortons is a Canadian fast-food restaurant chain known for its breakfast food and coffee.

Tim Hortons would be a licensed store, like Starbucks in the College Union. This means that CAS would utilize the Tim Hortons business model and product ideas but run the store and collect revenue itself. Scott said this model benefits both parties because the corporation can expand its brand without having to invest in starting up an individual store and CAS receives most of the revenue.

The details of the plan are still in the works, such as financial implications and designation of management. Although the project is not yet finalized, Scott hopes it will be implemented within the next 18 months.

Other colleges, including schools in the State University of New York System, have Tim Hortons restaurants on their campuses. Scott said CAS is taking time to research the nature of those arrangements so Geneseo can use the best possible model moving forward.

Scott said he believes that bringing a Tim Hortons to the Geneseo campus will benefit the students.

“For me, it is important to do things that take pressure off students who have meal plans,” he said.

He said that, because Tim Hortons is a popular choice for dining, it would attract customers who normally do not eat on campus.

“We have to find new ways to bring in people into the operations, and one of the best ways to do that is to offer brands that people patronize when they’re home doing their own thing,” Scott said.

The revenue from these transactions would make on-campus dining less expensive for students with meal plans.

Scott said he believes Tim Hortons restaurants are generally “quite meaningful in terms of restaurant and dining satisfaction,” adding that the new eatery will be a positive addition to the options available to those students who live on campus and have a meal plan.

CAS has explored other possibilities for license stores as well, Scott said. Other options under consideration include Au Bon Pain, Mighty Taco and Einstein Bros. Bagels. CAS is interested in bringing regional restaurant chains to campus in addition to national ones, as Scott said, “I believe that we have to have a good balance between self-branded concepts and nationally branded concepts.”