Wendy's now says it won't increase prices on menu items

Wendy's dynamic pricing will change featured items and offer discounts at different times.
Wendy

  • Wendy's is backing away from suggestions that it will start raising the prices of its burgers and fries.
  • On an earnings call, the company's CEO said it would begin experimenting with “features like dynamic pricing.”
  • Wendy's later said its Dynamic Pricing would not raise prices and would only offer discounts.

Wendy's on Tuesday appeared to walk back CEO Kirk Tanner's comments that sparked widespread reporting — and backlash — over the idea that the company would introduce higher prices for its burgers and fries.

“Beginning in 2025, we will begin testing more enhanced features such as dynamic pricing and daypart offerings along with AI-powered menu changes and suggested selling.” Tanner said on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call.

Dynamic pricing, commonly referred to as surge pricing, means that prices fluctuate based on demand – whether that demand goes up or down.

Similar to models in Uber and Lyft, people expected Wendy's menu items to vary in price during peak hours and slow periods of the day.

The new pricing model was discussed as part of a $20 million investment to install digital menu boards in all of its U.S. restaurants by 2025. Tanner also said on the call that the company plans to invest another $10 million over the next two years to upgrade its digital system. Menu boards around the world.

Following the CEO's comments, Business Insider reached out to Wendy's via email to ask for more details, including how much prices would differ under the new model, which BI's email referred to as “surprise pricing.”

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Wendy's responded with a statement about what the digital menu boards would include but did not dispute the description of “surprise pricing.”

As news spread about the new change on Tuesday, people took to social media to do just that Complain And posting memes about the possibility of higher prices.

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After online buzz about the new pricing model, Wendy's spokeswoman Heidi Schauer sent an update Tuesday evening saying: “Wendy will no longer implement surge pricing, which is the practice of raising prices when demand is at its highest.”

that advertisement The company's website reiterated that digital menu boards will allow stores to change featured items more easily and will offer discounts to customers.

Tanner's mention of dynamic pricing was also the case, the statement said “It has been misunderstood in some media reports as an intention to raise prices when demand is at its highest in our restaurants.”

Wendy's said the digital menu boards will offer discounts and valuable offers to customers, “particularly at slower times of the day.” The post also stated that any new features will only benefit the customer.

So, once the policy goes into effect, you may find discounts when you stop by an empty Wendy's location.

This change represents one of several changes made by the company Become more tech savvy.

Wendy's says it's spending $15 million this year to improve its mobile app and loyalty program. Tanner said the company expects global digital sales to reach $2 billion by 2024, a year ahead of schedule.

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Wendy's also plans to continue expanding its range Leadership through artificial intelligence, which was launched in June. The company plans to implement changes to its AI menu and suggested selling based on factors such as weather by 2025, according to a statement provided to BI.

February 28, 2024: This story was updated after Wendy's issued a statement saying it would not begin increasing pricing on some menu items.

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