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What surge pricing, dynamic pricing and shrinkflation mean for your wallet

a wendy's restaurant sign against a blue sky
Charlie Neibergall
In February 2024, Wendy’s said it had no plans to increase prices during the busiest times at its restaurants. The burger chain clarified its stance on how it will approach pricing after various media reports said that the company was looking to test having the prices of its menu items fluctuate throughout the day based on demand.

If you use rideshare apps, you know you can end up paying more at especially busy times of day or night. But would you pay more for a Frosty on a sweltering hot day?

Reports that Wendy's was considering "surge pricing" drew outrage earlier this year — until the CEO clarified those plans, saying the fast-food chain had planned to use "dynamic pricing."

What's the difference?

On Cincinnati Edition, we'll discuss these pricing tactics, whether we're likely to see more to come, and what it all means for your wallet.


  • Bryan Buechner, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, Xavier University
  • Elizabeth Renter, data analyst, Nerd Wallet

Ways to listen to this show:

  • Tune in live at noon ET M-F. Call 513-419-7100 or email to have your voice heard on today’s topic.
  • Catch the replay on 91.7 WVXU and 88.5 WMUB at 8 p.m. ET M-F.
  • Listen on-demand. Audio for this segment will be uploaded to this page by 4 p.m. ET., or subscribe to our podcast.
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