Part of the new sustainability platform, Tims For Good, includes a fresh reimagining of Tim Hortons culinary classics, which means not just improving our ingredients but reconsidering our recipes – searching for ways to make them even better.

That’s why Tim Hortons breakfast favourites – like bagels, English muffins and biscuits – are baked completely free of artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, with the rest of Tim Hortons core menu items set to follow by the end of the year.

We talked our culinary lead, Chef Tallis Voakes, about how he approached the new recipes in the right way:

What inspired these menu changes?

We started our journey over a year ago when we began looking at our menu in all areas – from our breakfast, to lunch to baked goods. We recognized that through any changes we made, we need to stay true to who we are as a brand. So, we simply said: How can we elevate the quality of this menu item?

That wasn’t an easy feat. A lot of what we’re doing has existed in the food industry but on a small scale. We’ve never seen restaurants like ours – spanning from coast to coast to coast – implement something game-changing quite like this.

What are some of the key changes guests might notice?

You’re going to see some big changes in our colours on our desserts and baked goods lineup. When people think of baked goods, they think of these big, bright colours. The reality is most colours like that don’t exist naturally. The hue is a little bit on the pastel side of things, rather than the wild and bright colours that guests might be used to.

Ultimately, this is about doing the right thing for our guests. People want real food and we want to serve them the best quality ingredients possible.

Tim Hortons guests are attached to their favourites. What do you say to guests who are worried that core flavours they’ve come to know and love will change?

Our goal has been to deliver the same amazing taste – and if not the same, then something even better.

When you really look at a recipe, you get to re-examine what you did and make it even better. The new Everything bagel is a good example – the flavour was more or less the same, but we still looked at it again, and said if we’re going to tweak something, let’s see if we can make it the best bagel we’ve ever made. And I’m confident we have.

We weren’t reckless when we made these decisions. They were very thoughtful. We didn’t want to mess with a good thing – that was the entire premise when we looked at these items.

Tim Hortons is also sourcing key ingredients like milk, cream, butter, cheese, eggs and potatoes wedges from Canada as much as possible. What’s behind that?

In my opinion, I think that food tastes better when it’s closer to you.

When we were looking at making our Roast Beef Sandwich, for instance, we thought: where we can we source the best roast beef? In Canada, of course! That’s a prime example of a situation where the better ingredient exists here, so not only do we want to support Canadian industry, I think the food tastes better because it’s sourced right here in Canada.