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Wendy’s Announces Dynamic Surge Pricing for Stores

Pricing in Wendy’s stores is likely to change as soon as next year thanks to dynamic pricing. In a conference call early this month, the popular fast-food chain announced it was beginning to test dynamic surge pricing in stores across the country according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Additionally, Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner revealed that Wendy’s will also be investing $20 million in implementing digital menu boards and $20 million in all U.S. restaurants by 2025, with an additional $10 million in the following two years towards digital menu enhancements. 

Wendy’s confirmed these upcoming changes in a new statement to various news outlets.

“At Wendy’s, we’re focused on providing great tasting, fresh, high-quality food and doing it in a way that brings value to our customers. As we’ve previously shared, we are making a significant investment to accelerate our digital business. In addition to evolving our loyalty program, we are leveraging technology even more with the rollout of digital menu boards in some U.S. restaurants,” wrote Wendy’s, “Beginning as early as 2025, we will begin testing a variety of enhanced features on these digital menu boards like dynamic pricing, different offerings in certain parts of the day, AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling based on factors such as weather.”

According to PEOPLE Magazine, these “AI-enabled menu changes” will allow Wendy’s to implement pricing changes quickly during peak hours, as told by a Wendy’s representative. Price surging has been seen in other companies like Uber and Lyft, where ride prices increased and decreased depending on the number of drivers out at a certain time or location.

Wendy’s had also announced advancements in its other AI endeavors, with several restaurants revealed to have rolled out AI drive-thru assistance to “improve” the speed of drive-thru lines. The technology had begun testing last year in Columbus, Ohio, with Wendy’s at the time boasting an 86 percent success rate. 

With Wendy’s going full throttle into implementing AI technology into their business, many experts noted that this could lead to a major turning point in the industry. Regardless, for Restaurant Business editor-in-chief Jonathan Maze, it could easily backfire. Maze told CNN, that the franchise could easily face backlash from customers at the possibility of raised prices.

Considering Wendy’s determination to follow through with their latest investments, it’s likely that they are willing to take that risk.


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