Wendy's(l), Wendy's burger(r)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock Deutschlandreform/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘Nice try, Wendy’s’: People aren’t buying into the Wendy’s $1 burger deal after restaurant announces ‘dynamic pricing’

'I’ll never eat there again.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Mar 6, 2024   Updated on Mar 6, 2024, 12:17 pm CST

Wendy’s outraged the internet in February when the fast-food chain’s CEO announced it planned to roll out “dynamic pricing” at some stores. After all that, the company is now offering a new deal for March Madness, and folks online are casting a side-eye that could melt a Frosty.

According to a news release, Wendy’s will offer $1 Dave’s Single and $2 Dave’s Double burgers when customers order in the company’s app. The promotion runs through April 10. 

But after the dynamic pricing kerfuffle, some consumers just aren’t having it. In a post about the news at Reddit’s r/fastfood subreddit, several commenters were suspicious of the chain’s timing, with one redditor calling the promotion “damage control.”

“Nice try, Wendy’s,” one person wrote on the thread.

“Wait… now it’s $1.25 … now $0.75 … $35.00,” another commenter joked, riffing off of the dynamic pricing announcement.

“Nah they can all go straight to Hell. I don’t care what they offer on their menu for what price, I’ll never eat there again,” someone else posted.

“Wendy’s is dead to me ever since they suggested price surging,” a comment read.

Another redditor commented, “surge pricing at work in reverse, nobody will go there anymore and so they lower the prices temporarily to stimulate demand.”

“Nah I’m good. It’ll [just] make it sting more later when im paying 14 dollars for another one,” a reader commented.

Still, some folks just like a cheap burger.

“Honestly, that’s a great deal,” a redditor wrote.

“Wendy’s has the best burgers of any traditional national chain, and it’s not close,” one person commented.

But despite several redditors assuming the promotion is a PR stunt to offset controversy, some readers pointed out that’s unlikely.

“No they always do this deal in March. Happened last year and the year before that as well,” a redditor offered.

Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner mentioned the planned dynamic pricing in a company earnings call on Feb. 15. The March Madness promotion started Feb. 26, and the Wendy’s news release announcing it is dated March 4. 

“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,” Tanner said on the call, referencing plans tied to the company’s new digital menu boards, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Criticism came faster than the food Wendy’s serves. Many reports compared Wendy’s plan to so-called surge pricing used by companies like Uber, where prices are tied to demand. In high-demand times, prices rise, and so forth.

On Feb. 27, Wendy’s issued a statement disputing that characterization and claiming that the new pricing methods would lead to greater value for customers.

The announcement made on the earnings call “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,” according to the statement. 

It continued, “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.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Wendy’s via email.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article
*First Published: Mar 6, 2024, 1:00 pm CST