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Not So Fast: Wendy’s Has Already Backed Off Of Its Rumored Plan To Start Surge-Pricing Cheeseburgers


The internet erupted at the idea of dynamically priced fast food.

via: Uproxx

Wendy’s would like to clarify that it wasn’t trying to gouge people for cheeseburgers by introducing surge pricing. It was actually going to make items cheaper, you see, which was the tone of a statement from the fast food restaurant after sparking a wave of bad headlines. According to a Wendy’s spokesperson, their plan to implement digital menu boards was “misconstrued.”

“We said these menu boards would give us more flexibility to change the display of featured items. This was misconstrued in some media reports as an intent to raise prices when demand is highest at our restaurants,” Wendy’s said via Quartz. “We have no plans to do that and would not raise prices when our customers are visiting us most.”

In fairness, Wendy’s did not specifically say anything about raising (or lowering) prices, but it did tout its ability to change prices in real-time to increase profitability. Here’s exactly what CEO Kirk Tanner said during the earnings call:

“Beginning as early as 2025, we will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and daypart offerings, along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling,” he said. “As we continue to show the benefit of this technology in our company-operated restaurants, franchisee interest in digital menu boards should increase, further supporting sales and profit growth across the system.”

To be clear, Wendy’s is still moving forward with the digital menu boards, but it has no plans to raise menu prices during busy hours even though this technology would give them the ability to do that. Read into that what you will.

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In the meantime, the home of the Baconator is still getting roasted on social media, so it’s probably going to take more than just a statement from Wendy’s to earn back customer’s trust.



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