Tim Hortons, one of the three biggest subsidiary brands of Restaurant Brands International (QSR -1.62%), is opening 400 locations to truck drivers carrying food and other essentials along the highway network. So far, the program is only slated for Canadian locations, though there are hundreds of Tim Hortons restaurants in the U.S., too.

The outlets, which closed their dine-in facilities in the second week of March as part of the effort to decrease contact between people and slow the potential spread of COVID-19, will open their front counters to truck drivers. Company COO Mike Hancock said: "We know there have been barriers for truck drivers in accessing clean washrooms and food and drinks to keep them going during their work. We made it a priority to address these issues."

A refrigerated semi truck driving along a tree-lined highway.

Image source: Getty Images.

Tim Hortons has pledged to sanitize its restroom facilities every 15 minutes and will provide beverage and food service to truck drivers.

The company's assistance to critical parts of the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic could potentially not only help to slow the spread of the disease and keep critical distribution services rolling, but also aid in restoring some of the company's lost goodwill. Tim Hortons' popularity has plunged since RBI bought it, with comparable sales dropping and up to 90% of surveyed customers calling for major changes to its operation and ownership long before coronavirus began to affect the restaurant industry.