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Thread: Wendy's to try "Dynamic Pricing"

  1. #1
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    Wendy's to try "Dynamic Pricing"

    This is a verbatim cut-and-paste from CBS news:

    Patrons of Wendy's may soon pay varying prices for their burgers, as the fast-food chain intends to bring Uber-like surge pricing to its menu.

    "As early as 2025, we plan to test a number of features such as AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling based on factors, such as weather, that we think will provide great value and an improved customer and crew experience," a Wendy's spokesperson told CBS News in an email.

    The strategy involves so-called dynamic pricing — also known as surge pricing — which has the cost of a product or service fluctuating based on factors like rush hour and whether it's raining.
    Wendy's CEO Kirk Tanner told an earnings call earlier this month that Wendy's is investing $20 million to roll out digital menu boards to all U.S. company-operated restaurants by the end of 2025.

    "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," he added. "As we continue to show the benefit of this technology in our company-operated restaurants, franchisee interest in digital menu boards should increase, further supporting sales and profit growth across the system." (Emphasis--mine--added)

    I don't eat fast food, Wendy's or anyone else's. But if I did it would end when this begins.
    I wonder how customers will react to this.... should be interesting, even entertaining.
    Last edited by Patty Hann; 02-28-2024 at 5:53 AM.
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

  2. #2
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    So if we all stop eating at Wendy’s, the price will go down. Awesome.

  3. #3
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    We don't eat out much at all, and fast food (which is no longer fast) is maybe two or three times a year. We stopped at a McD's last summer or early fall, and coincidently i went to a Wendy's Monday night (2-26). In both cases, looking at the menu board seemed confusing and foreign to me already. I just wanted a cheeseburger with no fries or drink...it was tough!!

    The dynamic pricing in restaurants seems like it's been in place for a long time--i'm thinking of the "lunch menu" versus "dinner menu" at the places normally go to, prices have long been different (with larger portions at dinner). Been that way for a long time. Will be new to fast food, but that's a market i only use when i have to, so minimial impact on us. If we could get away from dynamic pricing at gas stations...i'd be happy--i only need gas when it's just gone up 30 cents/gallon!!

  4. #4
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    It's not just "time-of-day" pricing... they are also going to price according to the weather.

    As early as 2025, we plan to test a number of features such as AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling based on factors, such as weather.

    Gives a new meaning to "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (or maybe if it's cloudy there is no chance you will be getting meatballs, at least not cheaply)
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patty Hann View Post
    I wonder how customers will react to this.... should be interesting, even entertaining.
    Agreed. Consumers don't often realize the power they have to speak with their wallets. If we would all have cancelled our cable TV subscriptions for even one month the first time companies tried to charge us for service AND show us commercials, the entire cable TV market would have a different business model . . . well . . . at least in my imaginary reality anyway .

    P.s. I cancelled cable TV when they started showing commercials and haven't had it for longer than many adults have been alive. I seem to survive .
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    – Samuel Butler

  6. #6
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    Seems like another legalistic term for price for price gouging to me. I quit eating at McD's recently when I ordered a biscuit meal for breakfast and they charged me $9.87 for it. I was floored. Just 3 years ago, I would go there and buy the same meal several times a month for $3,58. That's almost a 300% increase. I wish my retirement was adjusted like that!
    My Dad always told me "Can't Never Could".

    SWE

  7. #7
    I don’t understand it and won’t try too. I do know how to cook a burger. Wendy is now in Never Never Land.

  8. #8
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    How is it providing any value to the customer with dynamic pricing? The only value would be if they lower the prices outside of peak hours as long the value pricing was lower than what they charge all the time today. There are a number of people who would either eat or late if they knew there was a substantial savings over eating during the peak period.

  9. #9
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    Taco Bell took out the registers so you had to use a computer terminal to place an order or do it on your phone. My wife and I could not get it to work so we left. They gave up on expanding to the other ones in town.
    Bill D

  10. #10
    Nothing like taking a task as simple as ordering a burger and making it a total dumpster fire.
    May they get what they deserve.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Taco Bell took out the registers so you had to use a computer terminal to place an order or do it on your phone. My wife and I could not get it to work so we left. They gave up on expanding to the other ones in town.
    Bill D
    I had the same experience with the Taco Bell kiosks. I'm not a fan of the "Taco Hell", but Mrs. Pat likes it sometimes. I'm an IT guy and, the first time I tried to use the kiosk, I got nowhere. It just kept erroring out. Luckily, there was a young person behind the counter who could take my order. That person was busy because absolutely nobody could get any of those kiosks to work. I went back a second time months later. Same story. Why were those stupid kiosks even powered on? They served as a time-waster and nothing more.

    Now Mrs. Pat goes to Taco Hell herself and uses the drive-through.

    I'm not sure I believe this Wendy's pricing thing. I'm wondering if it's leading up to a big and stupid April Fool's joke.

    UPDATE: Well, it's not an April Fool's joke. But Wendy's is backtracking big time. Not sure if it waw misunderstanding or if overwhelming, online outrage convinced them otherwise:

    ""To clarify, Wendy's will not implement surge pricing, which is the practice of raising prices when demand is highest," Wendy's Vice President Heidi Schauer said in an email to NPR. "We didn't use that phrase, nor do we plan to implement that practice."

    https://www.npr.org/2024/02/28/12344...20practice.%22
    Last edited by Pat Germain; 02-28-2024 at 2:01 PM.

  12. #12
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    So did CBS news get it wrong? Because their report used the words "so-called dynamic pricing — also known as surge pricing" per the OP. Maybe they will offer discount pricing when traffic is low to try and attract more business but if no one knows when the discounts are in effect they will be mmmm ineffective. Better to just advertise discount prices when historically traffic is low and donate the $20 million in products to local foodbanks and get the benefits of the goodwill.

  13. #13
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    Taco Bell took out the registers so you had to use a computer terminal to place an order or do it on your phone.
    This is why I haven't been to Taco Bell since they started this fiasco. It took me what seemed like forever just to get a soft drink. The guy next to me spent even longer ordering breakfast only to be told it was too late to order from the breakfast menu, even though the kiosk let him. Candy just about had a melt down trying to order what she wanted at another time. That was the last straw. We order out to relax, not to have a fit.

    One thing the bean counters who come up with these ideas will learn about surge pricing is people will stop eating in their establishments during the times when they are normally the busiest. It won't do a lot to increase earnings unless they do lower prices during the off hours to bring in more business.

    What might serve them better is to select the best selling items on their menu to run a "surge special" on an abridged menu to speed up the customer through put during heavy business hours.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    Another reason to not eat fast food. Brian
    Brian

  15. #15
    Just read today that the CEO of Wendy's says the Surge pricing is not going to happen.

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