Freshness is vitalAlways fresh is the motto of Canadian food-to-go outlet Tim Hortons. This means it changes its coffee every 20 minutes, even if the pot is full. But freshness also means, says chief executive Dan Schroder, that: “You’re changing all the time… always fresh washrooms, parking lots and products.”

I visited one of his outlets outside Toronto, where we discovered Timbits, its mini donut balls, and where the counter was pristine clean glass and steel and the staff were crisply attired. The Timbits stand out in my mind as the remarkable part.

Mr Schroder is building his business on freshness. To be better than other outlets at delivering freshness he needs to get his staff to buy in to keeping things 100% and to get his business processes right. But perhaps the magic of his business is elsewhere.

As the chain seeks to expand it sponsors local childrens sports events, using the Timbits brand. The freshness may get you noticed but the fun may be what is needed to get you coming back.