tim hortons smile cookies

People are complaining about Tim Hortons smile cookies this year but not for why you think

It's smile cookie season again at Tim Hortons, where customers can purchase the chocolate chip treats with charmingly wonky faces for a limited time to support local charities.

Each year at this time, social media is flooded with photos of the baked goods, often from people happily championing the feel-good initiative, but more often from those who end up getting desserts that look more terrifying than merry.

Though these posts are usually just in jest and can hardly be considered genuine complaints about the handiwork of Tim's staff, there are quite a few people who are actually taking issues with their smile cookies this year for a completely different reason: the price.

Yes, some seem to think that even smile cookies have not been immune to the rampant inflation that is causing the price of food and everything else to skyrocket, with some customers finding themselves unpleasantly surprised when they get to the register at their local Timmie's this week.

While the biscuits are typically $1 each, many in Ontario are finding that they are being charged more, as much as double the price they're used to before taxes.

And, of course, they're taking their concerns to Twitter.

Though the smile cookie campaign playing on TV screens at participating Timmies locations nationwide does still advertise the cookies as $1, the fine print does note that this is "plus applicable taxes" and that "pricing may vary by region."

The Canadian-grown cafe giant confirmed to blogTO that the price of smile cookies may change from location to location this year, but it's not for the reason some may think: it's all part of a new trial of a higher price point, not because of inflation, but to raise even more money for charitable causes.

"For nearly 30 years, smile cookies have been sold at Tim Hortons restaurants for $1, with 100 per cent of the proceeds being donated to a local charity or community organization," a spokesperson for the brand said. 

"To make the program as impactful as possible, a limited number of restaurants are running a test to evaluate the potential of changing the national price of smile cookies in the future — and of course, 100 per cent of proceeds would continue to go to a local charity or community organization."

In Toronto, it appears that many locations — including at Dundas and Victoria, Queen and Victoria, King and Victoria, Richmond and Yonge, and Dundas and University — are still selling the cookies for $1 plus taxes.

But, it is noteworthy that the smile cookie button, which could easily be confused as the smile cookie for someone unfamiliar with the register and/or the program, is $2 (one staffer at the King and Victoria location accidentally did exactly that to this writer, ringing up a $2 smile cookie button rather than a $1 smile cookie when asked about pricing).

It is apparent that many are finding that their local Tim's, though, is indeed charging the extra dollar, both on food delivery apps and in-person.

Though they may be surprised and even upset over the change, they can rest assured that it is only a trial and that the money is still supporting good causes.

Smile cookies will be available at participating cafes until Sept. 25.

Lead photo by

Becky Robertson

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