A construction delay means double doubles and doughnuts won’t be coming to Sechelt until the spring.
The new Tim Hortons has been set to open in early March, said Allan Monosky, who owns the franchise with his wife, Wanda. When construction began in the fall, the restaurant was slated to open Dec. 21.
The fast-food restaurant is the first anchor tenant of the third phase of construction at Tsain-Ko Village Shopping Centre, located across from the Sechelt/shíshálh Hospital on Highway 101.
Allan said there is “no one particular reason” for the delay, citing permitting and access to labour and equipment. Last week contractors were working on tiling and preparations are underway to install the parking lot, which will take place in February. On Jan. 9, crews were installing the underground electrical for lamp standards.
Despite the delay, Allan said they are looking forward to opening the business and launching community initiatives such as Timbits hockey and soccer. “We’re super excited to get out there,” he said.
Allan has been visiting Sechelt every few weeks and has also been speaking with local business owners who have confirmed what he and Wanda expect will be the main challenge for the business – recruiting sufficient staff.
To overcome that obstacle, Wanda is planning to launch a hiring campaign and job fair in mid-February after she relocates to the Coast from Fort Nelson, where the couple owns another Tim Hortons franchise.
Wanda, who is overseeing staff recruitment, said 25 to 28 full-time and part-time positions are needed to operate what they hope will be a 24-hour restaurant. Positions sought include food counter attendants, supervisors, kitchen staff and overnight staff.
The business owners experienced similar challenges in acquiring staff in Fort Nelson and plan to bring what they’ve learned to the Coast. “We’re dealing with the same labour shortages,” Wanda said.
“It’s a challenge,” she said, adding, “I think if you offer a really diverse and dynamic and fun place to work, that people like to stick around.”
The couple also stressed they will attempt to hire all local staff. “We understand it’s a really tough job market down there,” Allan said.
Tim Hortons was announced as the first anchor tenant for the mall’s third phase in August. Tsain-Ko representative Jason Jenkins said construction of the other tenant buildings is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete and that between six and 10 tenants are expected to sign leases. Another large commercial rental unit will extend from the current strip mall and several store pads will be built along the portion of the seven-acre parcel next to the highway.
An announcement for the tenant of the large, 17,000-square-foot building is expected in February.