American fast-food chain Wendy’s is planning to introduce a dynamic pricing strategy similar to the surge pricing model employed by ride-sharing apps such as Uber.  

The new strategy, scheduled to start in 2025, will see daily variations in menu prices depending on consumer demand.

The new pricing model will introduce higher prices during peak meal times and offer discounts during off-peak hours.

A burger priced at $5.99 might cost up to $1 more during the lunchtime period but be discounted by the same amount at less busy times of day.

Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner noted in a call to investors that the company is investing $30m in digital menu boards to handle real-time updates. The boards will be rolled out across all its US, company-operated restaurants by the end of 2025 to facilitate the strategy.

Global roll-out could take place by 2027.

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The technology will enable the fast-food chain to adjust prices at short notice without increasing operational costs.

Wendy’s pricing currently varies by location, with significant differences between different regions.

Wendy’s spokesperson was quoted by Food & Wine as saying: “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.

“Dynamic pricing can 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.”

The restaurant chain reported net income of $46.9m for the fourth quarter of 2023, up 13.6% compared to $41.3m in the same period of the previous year.