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Wendy’s clarifies dynamic pricing statement

Wendy's

Wendy’s was said to be the latest company planning to test surge or dynamic pricing, but now the company said that it won’t raise prices, despite what its CEO announced.

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We have no plans to do that”

Update 8:49 a.m. EST Feb. 28: A Wendy’s spokesperson has clarified what the company’s CEO said was going to be a rollout of “dynamic pricing.”

CEO Kirk Tanner had said on a call with analysts that Wendy’s will have new menu boards with “more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and day-part offerings along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

But now Wendy’s posted on its website a statement that reads, “We said these menuboards would give us more flexibility to change the display of featured items. This was misconstrued in some media reports as an intent to raise prices when demand is highest at our restaurants. We have no plans to do that and would not raise prices when our customers are visiting us most. Any features we may test in the future would be designed to benefit our customers and restaurant crew members. Digital menuboards could allow us to change the menu offerings at different times of day and offer discounts and value offers to our customers more easily, particularly in the slower times of day.”

In an earlier statement from the fast-food chain obtained by “Today,” company officials said Wendy’s would have the ability to change prices during different times of the day, though they didn’t specify that it would only be used to lower prices.

The earlier statement read: “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.”

Original report: The fast-food chain will be trying out a pricing plan that could change depending on how busy a restaurant is at the time of ordering.

ABC News gave the example that a Baconator could cost $1 more at lunchtime when compared to other times of the day.

CNN reported that not a lot of details were released during a recent earnings call, but CEO Kirk Tanner said the company will test “more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and day-part offerings along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

It will start next year, Fox Business reported.

Tanner added, “We expect our digital menu boards will drive immediate benefits to order accuracy, improve crew experience and sales growth from upselling and consistent merchandising execution.”

The menus have already debuted at select drive-thrus and have gotten the attention of TikTok users, who show that the menus have automated voices and suggest additional items on the screen.

Wendy’s is taking the lead from ticket sales for sports and concert events and ride-hailing services like Uber, CNN reported.

A Wendy’s spokesperson told Fox Business that the pricing model could “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. We will test a number of features that we think will provide an enhanced customer and crew experience.”

Not everyone is happy with the “feature,” and it could backfire.

“The idea that a restaurant chain would potentially raise prices during busy times of day, even if consumers think they’re raising prices, then it could lead to a backlash. They’ll have to tread carefully. This is why we haven’t seen a lot of it,” Restaurant Business editor-in-chief Jonathan Maze told CNN.

ABC News reported that Wendy’s is the second-largest burger company in the U.S. with 6,000 locations.

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