Fans Slam Wendy's Proposed New ‘Dynamic Pricing’

The drive-thru line at a Wendy's restaurant in Pinole, California, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Wendy's Co. is expected to release earnings figures on August 11. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wendy's recently proposed a new pricing module in line with Uber's surge pricing—where the cost of goods can vary based upon the time of day, location, and current demand—and fans certainly aren't sold by the reported changes.

According to Nation's Restaurant News, the restaurant's new CEO, Kirk Tanner, clued investors into the new structure during a phone call earlier this month, revealing that in 2025, Wendy's "will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing," as well as "daypart offerings" and "AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

While the CEO hasn't specified exactly what their version of dynamic pricing will look like, consumers can likely expect higher costs at the height of breakfast, lunch and dinnertime—something that they've already made clear they're not on board with.

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"What TF do you mean?! How do you surge to zero? Because that’s what’s going to happen once you start doing that. Are you crazy @Wendys?" one wrote in response on Twitter.

"Hey @Wendys, will you also be paying your workers more during these surge 'dynamic' pricing hours?" another questioned.

Another user pointed out that surge pricing on Uber or Lyft works because there's little competition, whereas "no one specifically needs Wendys when McDonald's is 2 blocks down."

"The consumer will go to another restaurant if they even suspect surge pricing will be in effect," someone else agreed, while another replied, "Surge pricing is just Price Gouging by any other name. We really don't have to put up with these companies price gouging us. Go anywhere else."

With customers already poised to take their business elsewhere, this may be one change Wendy's will want to take another look at.

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