HomeBlogWendy’s, the American burger chain, intends to experiment with 'surge pricing' in...

Wendy’s, the American burger chain, intends to experiment with ‘surge pricing’ in the coming year

The company aims to adjust prices dynamically throughout the day according to demand, sparking criticism.

Wendy’s is looking to try a strategy that ride-sharing companies and ticket sellers have implemented [File: Gene J Puskar/AP Photo]

Wendy’s, a fast-food chain based in the United States, is considering experimenting with fluctuating the prices of its menu items throughout the day in response to demand. This strategy, reminiscent of practices adopted by ride-sharing companies and ticket sellers, is set to be trialed soon.

In a recent conference call, Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner announced plans for the Dublin, Ohio-based burger chain to initiate tests of dynamic pricing, also referred to as surge pricing, possibly as soon as next year.

“Starting as early as 2025, we’ll be testing more advanced features such as dynamic pricing and daypart offerings, alongside AI-driven menu adjustments and suggestive selling,” he stated.

“As we continue to demonstrate the advantages of this technology in our company-operated eateries, we anticipate a surge in franchisee interest in digital menu boards, further bolstering sales and profit growth across the board.”

Wendy’s is set to invest approximately $20 million to roll out digital menu boards in all its US company-owned restaurants by the close of 2025. Additionally, it plans to allocate around $10 million over the next two years to bolster digital menu enhancements globally.

Tanner, formerly of PepsiCo, assumed the role of Wendy’s CEO this month, succeeding Todd Penegor, who had held the position of president and CEO since 2016.

Last year, Penegor unveiled a restructuring initiative aimed at expediting decision-making processes and increasing investment in new restaurant development, particularly on the international front. The chain, along with its franchisees, oversees roughly 7,000 restaurants worldwide.

Wendy’s stock experienced a slight dip in Tuesday morning trading following the announcement, which sparked backlash, with the New York Post prominently featuring the news on its front page, dubbing it “inflation’s next frontier.”

On the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), numerous users criticized Wendy’s, with some vowing to boycott the burger chain.

“Surge pricing may work for Uber since they’re often the sole option. But you’re not. I won’t be patronizing your establishment if you proceed with this,” one user remarked.

“Goodbye, Wendy’s,” another wrote. “Engaging in predatory pricing isn’t acceptable for a fast food chain.”




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