UPDATE: 11:38am 2/28/24

The backlash from the original comments made by Wendy's CEO Kirk Tanner was swift. According to Reuters, there has been some clarification on the original comments about "surge pricing" for the restaurant in 2025. Wendy's in a statement to Reuters said they "would not raise prices when our customers are visiting us most." They are also trying to clarify the new menuboards:

"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 ... We have no plans to do that," the company said.

So the Uber model for fast food looks like it isn't going to be working any time soon.

Original Story:

The fast food industry is always changing and trying adventurous new things, from the food to technology. Have you tried McDonald's new "WcDonald's" menu items yet? There is a radical change that has been proposed by Wendy's recently that may change the way all fast food chains do business.

Wendy's Is Looking at a "Surge Pricing" Model

According to the New York Post, Wendy's CEO Kirk Tanner announced a new pricing system similar to the Uber model of "surge pricing". Uber, the ride-share service, charges more for rides during busier times of the day. Wendy's is looking at adopting this model for their restaurants including Montana locations.

Prices Will Change During the Day

The way it would work, Wendy's would be using "high tech" menu boards that would adjust the prices in real time during busy or slow times of the day. They are planning on investing $20 million for the menu boards. There was no information given on how much the prices could spike during busy times, or how much the food could be discounted during slower times.

Read More: 2 Popular Chain Restaurants Are Finally Coming to Montana

This is a radical shift in the way fast food restaurants have always operated. It is taking the "supply and demand" model to new heights. My personal work hours are different than most, so for me it may be advantageous for this new pricing system. Most of the time I eat outside of "peak hours" already.

Read More: The Sweet Spot For the Shortest Fast Food Lines in Missoula 

This new way of doing business is planning to be rolled out in 2025. Since Montana normally isn't one of the first places for new trends, it may be a bit longer before we see these changes happen here. Is this something that Montana customers will embrace, or reject? We will have to see when the changes happen and we will have to see if any other fast food restaurants follow this direction.

LOOK: 15 Discontinued McDonald's Menu Items

10 Best Steakhouses in Montana

If you live in Montana, you have to love a good steak dinner now and then. Luckily, here in Montana, we have steakhouses that spread far and wide throughout the state. If you are traveling through Montana or vacationing around the state, give one of these places a try.

Gallery Credit: Will Gordon


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