Sen. Liz Warren on the warpath over Wendy’s ‘surge pricing’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is on the warpath over fast food giant Wendy’s surge pricing plan, raging against a widely recognizable target now that inflation is a big political problem for Democrats.

The burger chain served up a surprise when the news broke that it would be testing out “dynamic pricing” otherwise known as “surge pricing” similar to the ride-sharing service Uber which jacks up costs during times of heavy demand.

The news was met with a fierce backlash and earlier this week, the Massachusetts Democrat pounced on the opportunity to exploit the public anger at Wendy’s.

“@Wendys is planning to try out ‘surge pricing’ — that means you could pay more for your lunch, even if the cost to Wendy’s stays exactly the same,” the shrill senator wrote on X. “It’s price gouging plain and simple, and American families have had enough.”

Wendy’s denied that it was going to implement “surge pricing” and clarified the remarks made by CEO Kirk Tanner on an earnings call with a community note being added to Warren’s post linking to a statement on the company’s website.

“Wendy’s has issued a clarification and never used the term “surge pricing.” They are rolling out new menu boards which make price changes on the fly possible, and state they only ever planned to use this feature for deals and discounts,” the note read.

Warren, who was affectionately dubbed “Pocahontas” by former President Donald J. Trump in a jab at the exaggeration of her Native American heritage to curry professional favor, was torched by X users.

“Earlier this month we issued our fourth quarter and full year 2023 earnings results and included an update on investments we are making in our digital business. One initiative is digital menuboards, which are being added to U.S. Company-operated restaurants. We said these menuboards would give us more flexibility to change the display of featured items,” Wendy’s said in its statement.

“This 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,” the statement read. “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. Wendy’s has always been about providing high-quality food at a great value, and customers can continue to expect that from our brand.”

Chris Donaldson


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