Wendy’s says it has no plans to raise prices during the busiest times at its restaurants

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. stance / stæns / (n.) – an opinion that someone has and is expressed publicly

    The professor often discusses his stance on climate change in academic conferences.

  2. pick up on (something) / pɪk ʌp ɒn / (phrasal v.) – to give attention to something that someone has said or done and discuss it more

    Journalists eagerly picked up on the mayor’s statements during the conference and inquired further about the new policies.

  3. dynamic pricing / daɪˈnæm ɪk ˈpraɪ sɪŋ / (n.) – a pricing method in which the cost of a product or service varies based on the level of demand at a specific time

    The airline uses dynamic pricing, adjusting ticket costs based on factors like demand, time of booking, and seat availability.

  4. circulate / ˈsɜr kyəˌleɪt / (v.) – (of story, idea, information, etc.) to spread from one person to another

    Rumors about the upcoming changes in company policies started to circulate.

  5. enhancement / ɛnˈhæns mənt / (n.) – the act of increasing or improving the quality, amount, or strength of something

    The company’s recent product enhancements have led to increased customer satisfaction and sales.


Read the text below.

Wendy’s says that it has no plans to increase prices during the busiest times at its restaurants.

The burger chain clarified its stance on how it will approach pricing after the media picked up on comments by CEO Kirk Tanner that the company would test features like dynamic pricing at restaurants.

Companies like Uber have used dynamic pricing, or surge pricing, to moderate use by customers during the busiest days of the year, or when drivers or cars are in short supply during the day. Prices rise and fall with demand using that business model.

During a conference call with investors and industry analysts, Tanner said, “Beginning as early as 2025, we will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and daypart offerings, along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

The company said on Feb. 28, after the story began to circulate, that any features it decides to test in the future “would be designed to benefit our customers and restaurant crew members.”

“Wendy’s will not implement surge pricing, which is the practice of raising prices when demand is highest. We didn’t use that phrase, nor do we plan to implement that practice,” the company said in an email to The Associated Press.

Wendy’s Co. plans to invest about $20 million to launch digital menu boards at all of its U.S. company-run restaurants by the end of 2025. It also plans to invest approximately $10 million over the next two years to support digital menu enhancements globally.

Wendy’s said that its digital menu boards “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.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • As a consumer, how do you think dynamic pricing will affect your purchase or use of different services or products (ex. it will affect when and where I purchase something, it will encourage me to monitor prices more closely)? Discuss.
  • As a consumer, do you prefer fixed pricing or are you open to the idea of dynamic pricing? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Wendy’s is investing in digital menu boards and AI-enabled menu changes to enhance customer experience. Do you think traditional restaurants should start implementing the use of AI in their services? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • How do you think customers in your city/country would respond to AI-driven changes in traditional restaurants (ex. they will accept it, some will be resistant)? Discuss.