Burger King Is Throwing Shade At Wendy's Surge Pricing Menu

On February 26, news broke that Wendy's plans to implement surge pricing as early as next year, per The New York Post. Now, Burger King is making a countermove to show diners that, despite shifts in the market, the King will continue to have their backs (and wallets).

Implemented by companies like Uber — and soon, Wendy's — surge pricing is the practice of increasing the cost of a good or service when it's in high demand. Although a spokesperson for Wendy's told CBS News on February 28 that the company's forthcoming price changes — influenced by factors like weather and traffic conditions — would improve the customer experience, some of the restaurant's fans are displeased. No one, however, was more rattled by the news than B.K.

"Surge pricing? Well, that's new," Burger King began in an email sent to Mashed, adding, "Good thing the only thing surging at BK is our flame!" In a tactfully shady response that never mentions Wendy's by name, Burger King announced that it's clapping back by offering fans more food for a lower price. "Now through Friday, March 1, guests nationwide can enjoy a free Whopper or Impossible Whopper with a $3 (or more) purchase in the BK APP — because we don't believe in charging guests more when they're hungry," the email read.

An ongoing feud

Although Burger King's current promotion reads as a condemnation of Wendy's plans to turn its menu into a burger stock exchange, University of Delaware assistant professor Timothy Webb told USA Today that, while folks may not realize it, other companies are already using similar pricing strategies. Wright State University professor John Dinsmore, however, told the publication that people may view the price changes as dishonest. "Consumers, by and large, understand that companies need to make a profit," Dinsmore said, "But, when a company appears to be sticking it to a consumer in a moment of need, the customer resents it." In the midst of the current consumer discontentment, Wendy's has yet to respond to Burger King's rather targeted promotion, but this isn't even the first time the two burger chains have had public beef.

In 2020, Burger King took a swipe at Wendy's via X, formerly known as Twitter, posting a picture of its royal mascot in a Wendy's drive-thru line holding a sign that read, "Roses are red, violets are blue, patties are round." Wendy's famously snarky X account responded in kind, writing, "Look who dropped by to see what Spicy Nuggets were supposed to taste like." Although Burger King was prepared and clapped back with a follow-up photo, Wendy's schooled B.K. with its final tweet, which read, "Honestly expected better, but you're probably pretty used to hearing that." As far as surge-gate is concerned, time will only tell which restaurant gets the last word.