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Tim Hortons employees serve shareholders before the company's annual general meeting in Toronto, in this file photo taken May 8, 2014.

PETER JONES/Reuters

About 350 employees lost their jobs at Tim Hortons this week in cuts focused mainly on the company's headquarters and regional offices.

A spokeswoman told The Canadian Press on Thursday that all affected employees had been notified and the layoffs were within commitments made to Industry Canada to maintain certain job levels.

In total, roughly 15 per cent of the 2,300 employees were included in the reduction, centred at its headquarters as well as regional offices and distribution centres across the country.

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Tim Hortons merged with Burger King under Restaurant Brands International  late last year and the company's new owner was widely expected to cut staff.

The company began notifying staff who were being cut earlier this week, but declined to provide figures for the cuts until after the reorganization was complete.

"There are very difficult and necessary choices," company spokeswoman Alexandra Cygal said.

Part of Ottawa's stipulations in approving the merger required the company to maintain staff levels at its franchised restaurants for five years.

Employees at its offices were not protected under that agreement, though the company plans to keep its headquarters in Oakville, Ont.

Tim Hortons has warehouse distribution centres in Calgary; Guelph and Kingston, Ont.; Debert, N.S.; and Aldergrove, B.C.

Since the Tim Hortons and Burger King merger was announced last year, some analysts and franchisees have voiced concerns over the reputation of 3G Capital, the Brazilian investment firm that owns roughly 70 per cent of the merged company.

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3G Capital is known for stripping the assets of acquired companies to boost profits, laying off thousands of employees at food company Heinz and beer company Anheuser-Busch when it took over their operations.

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