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Burger King Responds to Wendy's 'Dynamic Pricing' With Free Whopper Deal

Burger King is promoting the new Whopper offer as Wendy's faces an online frenzy over its surge pricing plans.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Earlier this week, the internet was swept into a frenzy over the news that Wendy's planned to start testing "dynamic pricing" in its restaurants (similar to Uber-style surge pricing). Now, Burger King is responding to the rival chain's announcement by rolling out a special deal for its signature burger.

Burger King just announced that it will give a free Whopper or Impossible Whopper to customers who spend $3 or more at the chain. The deal is available now through March 1 and is only valid for customers who order through the Burger King app.

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Burger King Whopper
Courtesy of Burger King

A press release on the promotion shared with Eat This, Not That! made a not-so-subtle reference to Wendy's dynamic pricing plans, seemingly framing the offer as a response to the news.

"Surge pricing? Well, that's new. Good thing the only thing surging at BK is our flame!" the release read.

Wendy's President and CEO Kirk Tanner announced during a Feb. 15 earnings call that they planned to start piloting dynamic pricing at stores as early as 2025. The company didn't share many details right off the bat on how its dynamic pricing would work. However, some consumers immediately began worrying that the practice would result in Wendy's prices increasing during busier times of day, similar to Uber's surge pricing strategy that makes it more expensive to call for a ride when demand is high. Many haven't been shy about criticizing the perceived possibility of higher Wendy's prices on social media.

However, Wendy's released a statement on Feb. 27 saying that its dynamic pricing comments had been "misconstrued" and it never intended to make its menu more expensive during high traffic times.

"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.

The statement also noted that Wendy's is adding digital menu boards to some of its company-owned restaurants in the United States. These boards could allow Wendy's restaurants to easily change their menu offerings and offer discounts to customers, especially during slower times of day, it said.

"Wendy's has always been about providing high-quality food at a great value, and customers can continue to expect that from our brand," it added.

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Still, Wendy's clarification hasn't stopped other food companies and chains like Burger King from trying to use the online backlash to market their own businesses.

Chili's, for example, posted a screenshot of a New York Post headline about Wendy's dynamic pricing plans on X (the social media site formerly known as Twitter) on Feb. 27. The chain asked fans to post about why Chili's is superior to fast-food using the hashtag #ChilisFastFoodSupportGroup for a chance to win free food.

Meanwhile, AriZona Iced Tea reposted the same New York Post story on X with the caption: "AriZona Iced Tea has been 99 cents for 30 years."

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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