Burger King Offering Free Whoppers After Wendy’s Dynamic Pricing Backlash

A whopper is photographed in a Burger King kitchen.
Photo courtesy of Burger King

Wendy’s found itself in hot water this week, and Burger King is capitalizing on it.

Earlier this month, Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner said in an earnings call the company plans to test out digital menu boards with “dynamic pricing.” The remarks made their way around the internet this week and faced some serious backlash. When reporting on the remarks, many news outlets referred to the policy as surge-pricing, similar to models used by ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

Wendy’s has since clarified the claim, saying it never used the term “surge pricing.” Instead of raising prices during busy times, the company would use artificial intelligence to offer different items throughout the day as well as discounts during slower times.

Still, Burger King got in on the outrage. The fast food chain is offering free Whoppers through Friday.

“Surge pricing? Well, that’s new. Good thing the only thing surging at BK is our flame!” a statement reads. “We don’t believe in charging people more when they’re hungry.”

How to Get a Free Whopper

You can get a free Whopper through Friday, March 1, with a $3 purchase. To get the offer, you’ll need to use the BK App or bk.com to order ahead. You must also have a Royal Perks account, which only takes a few minutes to sign up for.

Read all the terms of the offer here.

What is Surge Pricing?

Surge pricing is the act of charging customers more based on supply and demand, like during peak times. Most famous for surge pricing are ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. It’s why a ride home from the bar costs more at 2 a.m. than 2 p.m.

Don’t want to pay surge pricing on Uber rides? We don’t blame you. Here’s our guide to beat it.

What is Dynamic Pricing?

Dynamic pricing is the act of adjusting prices based on external factors, which could include market demand, the season and supply changes.

Amazon uses dynamic pricing – its algorithms continuously evaluate and adjust prices. Airlines do it, too. That’s why flights are typically cheaper in the middle of the week than on a Friday.

Are Surge Pricing and Dynamic Pricing the Same Thing? 

No. However, surge pricing is a subset of dynamic pricing.

Surge pricing involves raising prices based on supply and demand. Dynamic pricing doesn’t necessarily equal a price hike, but it can include an increase. It’s the adjustment of prices based on outside factors.

Katie Sartoris is the Managing Editor of The Penny Hoarder.