Tim Horton's (NYSE: THI), the Canadian purveyor of premium coffee, sandwiches, and soups, reported bland results last week for what was expected to be a tough quarter.

Canadian and U.S. same-store sales grew 3.5% and 1.0% respectively, with Canada's figure assisted by a 2.5% menu price increase. Management called out "unprecedented snowfalls" as partly to blame for relatively lackluster sales growth while notably not blaming the economy.

Maybe management is saving that excuse for next time; it may be a valid one. Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) and Caribou (Nasdaq: CBOU) aren't the only quick-service coffee chains struggling to fill their cash registers while consumers struggle to fill their gas tanks.

Taking a gander at what Tim's cooked up on its income statement for the quarter, the top and bottom lines offer little reason for concern: Total sales increased 10.1%, and earnings rose 4.3% compared to last year. Share buybacks helped boost earnings per share 7% higher.

However, the meat of this sandwich left a bit to be desired, largely due to changes in restaurant ownership that caused a 5.7% decline in franchise fees. Add an 11.4% increase in franchise fee costs, and you have a formula that certainly isn't margin friendly. Accordingly, operating income improved only 2.4%.

While this first quarter didn't brew up to full-year targets, the company remains faithful to its guidance for the year. Tim's hopes to serve up more croissants and coffee south of the border in continued U.S. expansion. If you've ever been to Canada, you know Tim's has an incredibly loyal following, which can be a strong asset during a recession.

Trading at 23 times trailing earnings, Tim's is less expensive than its smokin' hot rival McDonald's (NYSE: MCD). Still, I think sales will fall more as the company continues to struggle, so I recommend waiting for a better price or healthier sales results in the next quarter.

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Tim Horton's is a Global Gains recommendation. Starbucks has been selected by both Stock Advisor and Inside Value, and the Fool owns shares of it. Try any service free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Jason Ramage owns shares of McDonald's and Starbucks. The Fool percolates a steamy disclosure policy.