A computer virus is suspected of crashing cash registers this week at over 1,000 Tim Hortons coffee and donuts fast food restaurants. The problem is not yet fully resolved, and some stores are still experiencing problems.
The problems appeared earlier this week when XP-based cash registers began crashing.
Outages initially affected at under 100 locations, but as the week progressed, news outlets reported that over 1,000 stores were affected, almost a quarter of Tim Hortons locations across Canada.
Some stores had to shut down for small amounts of time while they tried to fix their Point of Sale (PoS) systems, but others had to close for good.
Angry franchise owners have banded together under the Great White North Franchise Association and have sent a letter to Tim Hortons’ mother company —Restaurant Brands Inc. (RBI)— giving it until Friday to meet with affected parties and discuss compensation for lost business time. This would include employee salaries, product spoilage, and lost sales.
RBI was in charge of running the PoS systems. Store owners accused the mother company of “deficient IT practices” and want the system upgraded.
After days of silence, a Tim Hortons spokesperson told the Canadian Press they were working with an external vendor to address the virus issues that was causing the crashes.
The spokesperson also said no customer credit card data had been compromised, but so soon after the incident, this statement should not be taken at face value.
Before the incident, Tim Hortons was already under heavy criticism for cutting employee perks after a mandatory 20% minimum wage hike.
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