Wendy's to use 'surge' pricing of menu items based on demand

"I don't think Wendy's understands why surge pricing works and in this case WON'T work," one X user wrote.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
It has been revealed that Wendy's is planning on implementing Uber-style "surge pricing" as early as next year. 

Under the new system, the price of a menu item would fluctuate throughout the day based on demand, with favorites such as the Baconator costing more during busy times such as the lunch and dinner rushes.

According to the New York Post, Wendy's CEO Kirk Tanner announced the plan during a recent call with investors, explaining that $20 million will be invested in creating menu boards that can update prices in real-time.

"As we continue to show the benefit of this technology in our company-operated restaurants," he said, "franchisee interest in digital menu boards should increase further supporting sales and profit growth across the system."

A spokesperson defended the move, telling the outlet that "dynamic pricing can allow Wendy's to be competitive and flexible with pricing, motivate customers to visit and provide them with the food they love at a great value."

They added that Wendy's "will test a number of features that we think will provide an enhanced customer and crew experience."

Reactions to the proposal have been rather negative, with many on social media suggesting customers will simply go elsewhere during busy times of the day when they believe Wendy's will jack up the price.

"I don't think Wendy's understands why surge pricing works and in this case WON'T work," one X user wrote. "The consumer will go to another restaurant if they even suspect surge pricing will be in effect. With Uber or Lyft, the alternative to avoiding surge is a far different alternative than going next door to McDonald's."

"I would predict this will go down in history as a terrible business decision," another added. "No one wants to drive to Wendy's to satisfy their craving for a Baconator only to see it's marked up 20% because it's rush hour. That will seriously piss a lot of people off and they'll stop going."

Some, however, tried to find a silver lining.

"Empty Gym, one dollar Wendys burger, sun shining on you," an X user wrote. "Life of the remote worker keeps getting better."

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