Surge Pricing


I am enjoying the new theme song.

That’s the second time
we’ve done the theme song.

I’m pretty happy about it.

I think just having a theme song with
my own name in it makes a big difference.

That is Stone’s Mo-Yo,
a rapper from Zimbabwe.

He will essentially write and produce
the entirety of the song for you.

So if you have a
project that you need a

little rap song to, reach
out, look out, search

for Stone’s Mo-Yo, you’ll get
his Facebook and some other stuff.

Very happy about that.

I got him when my friend Nigel
made a song for the old podcast.

I kept forgetting to
say him and his things.

I was like, I got to do this right
and give credit where credit’s due.

Stone’s Mo-Yo.

That’s not what we’re talking about.

In his new Japan story a
couple weeks ago, there

was a story about the
Coke is going to start

testing vending machines
that have surge pricing.

Surge pricing to me is the
new subscriptions of the future.

So we, I did an episode
a while ago and it was

about how everything is trying
to be a subscription service.

That’s their way of getting a little bit
of money from you all the time forever.

You end up with a billion
subscription services

you don’t need, but
you forget to cancel

them or they make it really hard to
cancel or any other number of things.

The end of the day, you’re subscribing
to things you don’t need or don’t want.

Coke is taking it a slightly different way.

I think surge pricing is the model
they’re going to have going forward.

If it’s a busy time, the price goes up.

So this is essentially
just speculating this

is this is just stocks only
it’s with every day item.

So you want to buy a Coke.

You can’t buy a Coke during a busy time
because the Coke’s going to be 200, 210, 250

yen, whereas if you
wait till it’s like four

o’clock in the morning, that price is
going to drop down to 150, 140 yen.

And so you’re really just going to be,
what is the best time to short Coke?

Because I’ll buy Coke’s
and then resell them

to people at a slight
profit out in front

of the machine again
or something like like

people made jokes
about this on the internet,

but this is exactly what is going to happen
is people will buy Coke when it’s cheap and

then sell it for a small profit when it’s
expensive and make money off the Coke’s.

This came up last week
because of Wendy’s and

I used to like Wendy’s
I used to have a very

fond feeling for memories
of Wendy’s and it’s

because Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s
was a significant influence on my life.

You might be like, well, that’s
weird and I’m like, yes, it is weird.

When I was in high school,
it was grade 11, grade 12.

So sort of those
initial proper rebellious

years, early rebelliousness
years, I think you’re

like 15, 16, 16’s when I
got my first motorcycle.

So I’m driving motorcycles.

I think I’m pretty cool.

And again, amongst 16 year olds, having
a motorcycle does make you pretty cool.

I really was like a tiny
125 CC motorcycle

that I rode to and from school, but $5 of
gas would last me for the week and more.

So it was like a great thing
to have as a young teen.

It’s also meant it
was the time when my

friends and I were
skipping a lot of school

and there was an
McDonald’s and a Wendy’s.

McDonald’s was the
big company and Wendy’s

wasn’t even though Wendy’s
is still a massive company.

Wendy went there
regularly to spend what little

money we had on the
dollar menu for lunch.

So one day we’re skipping school.

We’re in Wendy’s, it’s about
five blocks away from our school.

We could walk there.

This man walks up to our table
and he says, hey, boys, how’s it going?

And it’s Dave Thomas,
founder of Wendy’s and

he wasn’t, she needs
to us because we were

clearly skipping school
and he just sat down

and he actually sat down
on a table next to us.

He goes like, so what
do you guys want to do?

What are you thinking
about and asking about

our lives and stuff and
talk to us like equals?

Or at least it seemed
that way to us at the time

because every other
adult had talked down to us.

So Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s is
having a very nice conversation with these.

He goes, you know what?

I’m Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s.

Why don’t you go up to the
front, get whatever you boys want.

And we’re 16, 17 year old even
eating machines, we’re like, what?

We’re going to go up and
it like as a joke, we’re like,

we’re going to go up and order
one of everything on the menu.

And Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s looks
at us and goes, I think you should do that.

And so I think there were
three of us at the time.

I remember me and my
friend Chris were there.

There might have been another guy
with us, but Chris was a football player.

He was gigantic at 16
years old and he could

have eaten the whole menu
two, three times over, no problem.

So we go up to the front
and we say, Dave Thomas,

founder of Wendy’s said
we could get anything

we want off the menu
and the poor staff behind

the place is looking
at us like, if Dave

Thomas founder of Wendy’s says that
at a Wendy’s, that is pretty much true.

So what would you like?

And we’re like, well,
as a joke, we said, we

want one of everything,
which would be two

of everything on the menu to take back
to our table and we’re going to eat it.

And she said, well, if
that’s what Dave Thomas

founder of Wendy said,
that’s what’s going to happen.

So over the course of an hour, they
just brought us food and food and food.

And again, eating
machines, we ate all of it.

And we actually felt like obligated and the
whole time Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s

was sitting next to
us telling us that we

should, you know, not
in a harsh way, but saying

like, we got to take school
seriously, school is very important.

Dave Thomas, founder of
Wendy’s didn’t finish high school.

He opened his Wendy’s and then
he made this company and then he

finished high school, then he
went to university as an adult.

And so he valued education.

So I, from that
day, it wasn’t a quick

change, but there was
a click, a little switch

or something in my head that had me going,
I’d want to graduate university and I high

school, and I actually, I think
I want to go to university.

And I think if Dave Thomas founder of
Wendy’s hadn’t sat down for basically an hour

or something plus in
an afternoon and just

talked to some high
school boys, I don’t know

if I would have gone to university or not,
I would have done something else, maybe.

I don’t know how my
life would have turned

out, maybe better, maybe
worse, but education

became a valuable thing to me because
of Dave Thomas founder of Wendy.

So when I see this
kind of behavior from

Wendy’s, it makes me
feel less about that fond

memory I have, or like they’re sullying
what Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s.

Take a shot.

Every time he says
Dave Thomas founder, if I

just say Dave Thomas, Dave
Thomas is a relatively bland name.

It’s like my name,
my actual name.

If you said it, it’s almost has no meaning.

So it has to be Dave
Thomas founder of Wendy’s.

That’s who he is.

He’s Dave Thomas.

He’s not just Dave Thomas.

He’s Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s.

No, I’ve never said his
name without putting

founder of Wendy’s on it because
that is how he introduced himself.

Hey boys, I’m Dave
Thomas founder of Wendy’s.

Yeah, you could do a drinking game.

If you give me a talk
about Dave Thomas founder

of Wendy’s, I will
always say the entirety

of his title, Dave Thomas
founder of Wendy’s.

There are certain
people that if you say

their name, you want
to say the whole thing.

If I was ever on the Joe Rogan
podcast, I would say Joe Rogan.

I would never say Joe.

I would always be like, hey, Joe Rogan.

I don’t know why.

I don’t even like
particularly like the guy,

but that’s just the reality
is Joe Rogan is Joe Rogan.

He’s never anything
but Joe Rogan.

And Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s is
always Dave Thomas founder of Wendy’s.

Dave Thomas founder of
Wendy’s proposed surge pricing.

They had like a stockholder call thing.

They’re talking about their profits
and how amazing they are as a company.

They’re trying to get people to
give them more money to invest more.

So this is about stakeholders and
they said we got this a great idea.

We’re going to get these new digital menus
up and these digital menus mean that we can

change the prices very easily,
which means we can do surge pricing.

We can have an algorithm,
some people in place.

They’re going to make sure the
algorithm doesn’t go too crazy.

But when it’s busy, we
can increase the price

when it’s not busy,
we can lower the price.

Now a Baconator,
which I guess is now the

standard Wendy’s fair, is
$12.24 in New York City.

My feeling was surge pricing
always has a floor, but no ceiling.

So they’re always going to get a minimum.

And that minimum right
now is going to be $12.24.

If I go to a Wendy’s
at four o’clock in the

morning, if with this surge pricing,
I could get a Baconator for $12.24.

But if I go during
lunchtime, dinner time, it’s

going to be $13.14, $15, who knows
how much in demand the Baconator is.

But that’s what the surge pricing is.

It means one of the
jokes that was on the

internet was I could
literally be in line and

the Baconator up on
the screen would say $12.

24 for the Baconator
plus a set or something.

And then by the time I got to the
register, the price has changed to $14.

So that put a sort of bit of
into everybody’s, what is it?

Something in your crawl.

I don’t even know what a crawl is.

But there’s another example
of how this doesn’t work.

And it was the Canadian dollar
versus the American dollar.

So I’m Canadian.

I grew up in Canada
and every book in Canada

has the American price
and the Canadian price.

And the Canadian price was always,
let’s say, let’s say it’s a $10 book.

The Canadian price would be, so
it would be $10 US, $12 Canadian.

And you got used to it, $5
book, American, $750, Canadian.

There’s always kind of like
two bucks, something like that.

And they said the reason for this
was because of the dollar exchange rate.

Now, they couldn’t
fluctuate, but they’re

like, we always add
on, let’s say, $2 to the

price of a book for the Canadian exchange
rate so that these people make their money.

I’m not against publishers
or writers making money.

I am against gouging.

Now, the thing is, there
was a very short period.

I think it’s when I was
in university, where

the Canadian dollar surpassed
the value of the American dollar.

I think it lasted for about a week.

And during that week, they
didn’t switch those prices.

It didn’t alternate back and forth.

When the Canadian dollar was
more valuable than the American

dollar, they didn’t lower the
prices of books in Canada.

The only reason I know it was books because
that was like, it stamped on the book.

It’s a constant.

And they didn’t go
into bookstores and like

put a sticker on them all,
making the American price $12.

50 and the Canadian price $10.

No, they just took all that extra
money and tried to run away with it.

And that’s again, where
consumers are cautious

or concerned or see that
surge pricing is price gouging.

And that’s the other thing
that people are actually calling it.

The surge pricing isn’t surge pricing.

It’s price gouging.

What this company, what Wendy’s is hoping
is that because you’ve gotten used to this

idea because of Uber,
you’ve gotten used to

this idea in certain
situations that’s become

normalized enough that they can try it
and you’ll just think it’s a normal thing.

This is something you talk about
like a microtransactions in video games.

When I grew up, there was no such thing.

DLC was already a very suspicious thing.

I bought the DLC for
rock star games for like

Grand Theft Auto games because
that was always worth the money.

But like a lot of DLC was not
worth the money, so I didn’t buy it.

And then microtransactions were introduced.

My kids have grown up with microtransactions
just being part of every game.

So for them, it’s
normalized so they don’t see

it as a disgusting
horrible thing that I do.

I’m very anti microtransaction
because I didn’t grow up without it.

So what they’re hoping
is they can get surge

prices into place and
get people used to them.

When people are used
to them, they won’t

actually question that surge
pricing is actually price gouging.

Only 2% of consumers
consider that dynamic

pricing, which is the
way they actually call

it, is actually just some
form of price gouging.

And like I said, this
is the normalization of

subscription services,
which is the thing I was

complaining about, I don’t
know, maybe two months ago.

The most offensive
version of that right now

is Hewlett Packard
is actually making use,

or wants you to,
subscribe to your printer.

So let me get the details up
and actually read the details.

It’s called the HP all-in-one plan.

It’s essentially an
extension of HP’s instant

ink, so instant ink was
when you subscribe to ink.

So when the printer gets
low, they’ll send you more

ink or they’ll just send
you ink on a regular basis.

It was just the price they’re charging like
per print was actually the bit I was most

shocked by.

You have ink sent to you as
you approach empty, but unlike

it, your monthly fee also
covers the printer itself.

So the HP all-in-one
plan, you get a printer

and ink that you do not own, you are
subscribing to you, essentially renting it.

They started $6.99 per month
for 20 pages worth of prints.

So you can do the math.

I mean, technically
you’re getting the printer

and the prints, but you
only get to print 20 pages.

So there are some
months I would print nothing

at home, but then
there are some months

if I was going to print something,
it’s going to be essentially a book.

The HP envy model, sorry, it goes up
to 30, 30, it goes up to 35.99 a month.

They can get you an office
jet pro and 700 pages of printing.

But if you go over your
page, a lot of my HP

will add more for a dollar
per block of 10 to 15 pages.

So basically, if you print
your maximum and you

go over, you now have
to pay another dollar.

You get like 10 more pages,
20 more pages, that kind of stuff.

So if it’s a busy month, you’re going
to end up accidentally paying more.

That’s fucking disgusting.

I don’t know where printer
companies got the balls to do all this.

Each plan has a two year rental.

So it’s not a lease to own.

So you don’t own it at the end.

So at two years, you have to give it back.

And if you decide HP
only one isn’t for you,

after all, you’ll have
to return the printer

and go back to rubbing
elbows with everyone else at

FedEx or whatever, do
you want your print stunts?

It’s fucking ridiculous.

Because I’m still at that point where when
they want me to buy printer ink, I will

sum like I actually
had this problem where

buying a new printer with ink in it was
cheaper than buying more printer ink.

Where they got the idea that
this was going to work long

term, because it’s actually
worked longer than I expected.

And that’s the bit
that I actually think it

sets me off, is that how
has this gone on for this long?

I want to own a printer.

I barely use it.

I use the scanner a lot
because I’ll scan stuff

in, but again, we’ve
hit this digital point.

And I get, they’re
trying to squeeze out the

last dollars from the
idea of physical printing.

But because they’re
being so aggressive about

it, it actually would
turn me off printing more.

That’s likely to print
from this point going

forward in the hopes that
I don’t need a printer at all.

It’s a whole thing.

There’s software
that runs on printers at

offices to keep people
from printing too much.

Because at my job, I have to, like, when
I print stuff, it’s for a hundred people.

So it’s one sheet for a hundred people
and sometimes it’s two, three sheets.

I have no choice because
we have a hundred employees.

I might have to give stuff to you.

I worked at a school
where instead of giving

out new ink, we just
replaced the printer.




No, that’s exactly what I mean.

Like, I had a printer
and I could pay, it was

like four, five thousand
yen for replacement ink.

And then I was on
Amazon and it was like three

thousand yen for a
printer with ink in it.

So whenever they tell me,
like, how much it cost to print my

first thought is there’s no
way that’s what it actually costs.

I mean, that might be what you’re being
charged, but that’s not what it costs.

Then the meeting that Wendy’s has, sort
of leaks that we have this dynamic pricing.

We have these new digital
boards up on the wall.

We’re going to be able to change the
prices essentially from a home office.

We’re going to have an algorithm do it.

It’s going to be amazing.

Then that gets out one day later.

They start walking it back and
they start walking it back really hard.

Actually we never said that.

We just wanted, we were just saying
that the boards give us more flexibility.

The flexibility, I assume,
would actually be on the pricing.

The one thing they talked about.

This was misconstrued.

This was misconstrued by media outlets.

We have no plans to
do that, that being the

search pricing, and
would never raise prices

when customers visit
us the most, which is the

most fake corporate
statement I’ve ever heard.

So here’s Wendy’s full statement.

Earlier this month,
we issued our fourth

quarter and full year
2023 earnings results and

included an update on investments
we are making in our digital business.

I was like, “I should do
this in like a regal voice.

” Oh, sorry.

Dave just got it.

Dave just went a little absent on my lab.

Earlier, there’s
two, so if I do this in

different voices, it actually
changes the tone of the message.

I could just read it
normal, but this may

be, I got to try out
some voices and I think

I got to start doing
some voices, especially

because this is primarily
an audio podcast.

It’s actually video
is not a big part of it.

Earlier this month,
we issued our fourth

quarter and full year
of 2023 earnings results

and included an update on investments
we are making in our digital business.

One initiative is digital
menu boards, which

are being added to the US
company-operated restaurants.

We said these menu
boards would give us more

flexibility to change the
display of featured items.

This was misconstrued in some media reports
as an intent to raise prices when demand

is highest at our
restaurants, it was ridiculous.

If I read that same thing in a hillbilly
voice, it actually sounds way more sincere.

So that’s the first thing he said is like,
“Hey, when we said we could change stuff

on the board, we weren’t
talking about prices

even though we did definitely
say dynamic pricing in that call.

” That’s not what
we were talking about.

We were talking about the things
we wanted to display, promote upfront.

We would never, we would never as a large
corporation, large corporations don’t think like that.

When people come to us most, we want to be
most generous with them and hear the thing.

Dave Thomas founder
of Wendy’s probably would

think that way because
I believe Dave Thomas

founder of Wendy’s is a good guy because I
met him, I spent time with him, very short

time, he had me ensnared in his, his loving
gaze, he, he made me want to be Wendy.

But back to our, uh, sycophans, we have no
plans to do that and we’d never, we’d never

never know what to 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,
never us or the shareholders

or stockholders or
investments or anything like that.

Those people are disgusting.

Digital menu boards
could allow us to change

the menu offerings
at different times of

day and offer discounts
when value offers to

our customers more easily,
particularly in the slower times of day.

We would never raise prices when it’s busy.

And we would only
lower when it’s not that

busy ensnared in Dave
Thomas founder of Wendy’s gaze.

Yeah, I might actually
end up writing that book.

They did the, the KFC romance novel.

I still want to actually kind of get a copy
of that and read it, but Wendy’s has always

been about providing high quality food,
already a lie, the food is pretty rank.

The only reason I went
there is again because

of my fondness for the
men and the reminiscence

and the memory that I
have and frosties, frosties.

I don’t know what’s in them.

It’s probably just sand and ice
cream, but they are awesome.

Have you played?

I love you, Colonel Sanders.

I have seen it.

I have not played it.

I should play it probably
Wendy’s has always

been about providing
high quality food at

great value and customers continue to
expect that from our brand conclusion.

Always be suspicious of companies.

That statement cannot
be taken at face value.

That statement cannot be taken
at face value because he is lying.

He is lying because
consumers were angry and

he didn’t want Wendy’s to
look bad and lose market share.

That’s the only thing
that matters, but it does

demonstrate that
consumers do have a certain

amount of power that they
probably don’t think they have.

Not going to Wendy’s, punishes
Wendy’s for practices we don’t like.

Not buying things, punishes
companies we don’t like.

I have said I did it podcast years and
years ago and was about how to break telecom

corporations and
essentially the concept was,

I don’t remember the
name, there’s two big

ones in America and Canada, they have two
companies that basically split between West

and East and they’re
technically not monopoly

because they don’t
cover the whole country,

but obviously it’s two
companies that essentially

price match, so they’re always charging
the same so you can’t get a better deal.

Anyways, a giant
telecom, if everyone would

commit, there you go,
tell us is the example

I will use, tell us is
a giant telecom, if

everyone, and everyone
would commit to going

a week without internet
without phone service.

So we just choose a
week in the year, maybe a

holiday, something like that, a
really inconvenient time for them.

Everyone start canceling
their service during

the same week and I don’t mean like a bunch
of people, I mean literally everybody.

They would start
changing their price to get

everyone back as quickly
as possible and they

make it sound like it’s
impossible, they make

it sound like they can’t
make improvements,

they make it sound like the network
can’t be upgraded or something like that.

The amount of service,
the amount of discount

they would put forward to get you to not
quit, once they hit a 30, 40% loss rate of

customers, like we don’t
even have to get everybody

is just as that number
climbs up day to day, as

people see the momentum,
they would change prices.

This story shows,
nothing actually happened,

they said, hey, we’re looking at dynamic
pricing, surge pricing, people were like,

fuck Wendy’s, Wendy’s
is fucking disgusting,

the next day they’re
in there going, oh no,

we never said that,
the pions misunderstood,

the media outlets lie
to, we at Wendy’s, we

are trustworthy because
we do not cut corners.

That’s the thing, when they have square
patties, Wendy’s we don’t cut corners.

Be aware, I went, fuck,
I should just end there,

I don’t, I don’t have a
conclusion conclusion,

but we can’t fuck
companies, but the thing

is we need to fuck
companies together, which

sounds really dirty, but that’s
maybe dirty is where we need to be.