"I don't know what the future was supposed to hold but price gouging for burgers is not what I had expected."

Surge Baby Surge

The fast food chain Wendy's is planning to implement a surge pricing model where its mid-tier fast food wares cost more during times of high traffic and demand.

As Gizmodo reports, the plan, which appears to be modeled after the notorious versions at Uber and Lyft, was announced during the fast food giant's quarterly earnings call earlier this month.

"Beginning as early as 2025, we will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing," Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner said during the February 15 call, per Giz. "We are planning to invest approximately $20 million to roll out digital menu boards to all US company-operated restaurants by the end of 2025."

There is also, naturally, an idiotic AI component to this scheme — though in the case of Wendy's, it's not the first.

"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 the Washington Post.

Bye Bye Wendy's

If you're wondering who asked for this expensive gambit, the answer seems to be no one — at least, no one who would potentially be buying the fast food restaurant's burgers.

As a quick perusal of the quote-tweets of various posts about the forthcoming surge pricing indicate, people are so pissed about the plan that they're willing to straight up stop buying from Wendy's.

"Deeply stupid idea that will alienate customers in an economy where soaring food costs are already alienating," one user posted on X.

"I don't know what the future was supposed to hold," another mused, "but price gouging for burgers is not what I had expected."

Not only is the plan to invest tens of millions of dollars into new tech that's ultimately going to result in charging customers more pretty ill-advised, but there's also a significant precedent for customer boycotts over surge pricing. Who can forget, for instance, the 2017 debacle when some 200,000 Uber users deleted the ride-sharing app en masse after its prices surged following airport protests against former President Donald Trump's infamous "Muslim ban"?

Some on social media are already calling for a preemptive Wendy's boycott over the move, which others have referred to as the sort of so-called "price-gouging" that should be regulated.

"If people don’t boycott Wendy’s and their surge pricing model it will lead to higher pricing at all restaurants moving forward," one X user wrote, using the "#BoycottWendys" hashtag. "It will change the restaurant industry for the worse and prices will never come down."

If nothing else, this plan is an unwelcome precedent in the ever-more-expensive world of fast food — and we may need to get a new rebuttal for out-of-pocket statements besides, "Sir, this is a Wendy's."

More on weird food: Company Seeking Approval to Sell Meat From Gene-Hacked Pigs

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