Wendy’s takes a slightly odd approach to contactless payments and only supports its own mobile app as a contactless payment method. I’ve personally downloaded and played around with their app and didn’t find it worth downloading.
You must first load money onto the app, and then you can use it. It doesn’t specifically act as a gateway to other methods; you’re first buying Wendy’s credits to then use for its products. So if you load $100 onto the app, then you’ve purchased a $100 credit from Wendy’s, and you won’t be getting any change from it.
So the real question you want the answer to is, can you use Apple Pay to buy these credits with Wendy’s or use Apple Pay in-store.
Wendy’s does not accept Apple Pay and has no partnerships or agreements with any other type of payment provider. The Wendy’s mobile app accepts their gift cards or credit/debit cards to top it up.
Considering Wendy’s mobile app has been around since at least 2014, it’s surprising how limited their current payment options are, especially compared to other fast-food restaurants.
Because Wendy’s does not officially support or even discuss contactless payments outside of their mobile app, it’s not possible to say if you can walk in-store and pay with a tap on their payment terminals.
Discussions online provide two specific issues that may be a problem when trying to pay in-store on Wendy’s payment terminals with Apple Pay. The first being that many don’t have new payment terminals that are tap-enabled. The second being that Wendy’s may disable tap on newer terminals.
So while Wendy’s doesn’t specifically block access to Apple Pay, they may be disabling the feature needed to use it in-store on their terminals. However, you can call your local Wendy’s, or you can walk in and attempt to tap, but your results may vary depending on the store.
So is there some reason that Wendy’s doesn’t support Apple Pay? Because it’s certainly frustrating to know they’ve made a mobile app that only works as well as walking up to a till and using your cards as usual.
Wendy’s hasn’t taken any stance at all on any alternative payment options. They appear happy to accept only cash, gift cards, and credit/debit cards.
One issue I see is that Wendy’s appears to not be in the restaurant business but is in the franchise business. So they make most of their money by selling franchises and the products/services needed to run their franchises. So there is no specific benefit to implementing and supporting alternate payment methods; it just makes things more complex for them.
When you look at their mobile app, you can see Wendy’s unorthodox approach of making you buy credits with them rather than using them as a payment gateway. There is a benefit to them here. If you buy $100 credit, it sits with Wendy’s corporate, which is earning interest on the money you don’t use right away. Once you use any credits, then that money is transferred to the franchisee, but until then it’s corporate money, and they’re earning good internet on it.
So if you’re somebody who likes Wendy’s, doesn’t like carrying physical cards, or just likes paying with your mobile, then your only option is their app. They also provide discounts and promos through their app to make it more appealing to you.
So my guess is that they don’t want to put the effort in and don’t want to take away their ability to sell you Wendy’s credits.
Is this a new approach of Wendy’s, and have they previously accepted other payment methods?
No, Wendy’s has no history of accepting Apple Pay or other digital wallet or payment options outside of traditional credit/debit cards or cash.
I don’t even see discussions or reviews online of people saying they’ve had success just walking in and tapping on tap-enabled payment terminals. So I think this may be because Wendy’s may disable that feature when they upgrade to those types of terminals.
Is there any hope for people that really want to pay with Apple Pay?
Wendy’s may take Apple Pay in the future, but probably not shortly. They have made no official statements that I’ve been able to find, saying anything whatsoever about Apple Pay or new payment methods.
I see discussions online from at least 2018 where Wendy’s told franchisees that they would be implementing new options such as Apple Pay soon. However, it’s now almost 2022, and that has not happened yet.
As younger generations get older and are more used to things like Apple Pay, restaurants or stores will have to start accepting them. Otherwise, they will lose business from people who are no longer accustomed to carrying cash and cards. I personally never take cash now and wouldn’t buy anything at stores that only accept cash, so this kind of mentality will start happening to physical cards with young people. It will force places like Wendy’s to adopt the technology that their customers demand, or they will slowly disappear. I’ve noticed fewer Wendy’s around, and I wonder if this is already happening to them. With no comment from Wendy’s, we really just have to wait and see.
Are there really no other options to pay for Wendy’s with your phone?
We know Wendy’s mobile app doesn’t accept Apple Pay, and Wendy’s may not take Apple Pay in-store on their payment terminals. So there are no other supported methods to pay with your phone directly to Wendy’s.
Your only other options would be to use Apple Pay via a third-party app such as one of the delivery services like GrubHub, DoorDash, or UberEats. Most food delivery apps now accept Apple Pay and allow you to have the food delivered or pick it up from the restaurant. However, they aren’t doing this for free, and your meal will cost more than if you pay the restaurant directly.
So if you can’t use Apple Pay and don’t want to use a third-party payment app, what options are available to pay in-store?
Wendy’s only accepts traditional payment methods, which include:
- Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
- Gift Cards
Suppose you really wanted to use Apple Pay. In that case, you could buy a Wendy’s gift card from another store that does accept Apple Pay. However, you still have to use a physical card at Wendy’s, but at least you don’t have to hand over your physical credit card to anyone.
If none of those payment options work for you, you don’t want to use their mobile app, and you don’t want a delivery service, then you will be dining at a different fast-food restaurant. So are all fast-food restaurants the same as Wendy’s, or do some take Apple Pay?
Which Other Restaurants Take Apple Pay?
Luckily and thankfully, not all fast-food restaurants have the same mentality as Wendy’s regarding payment options. There are many which will accept a variety of payment options, including Apple Pay.
- McDonald’s wants you to have your way and accepts Apple Pay along with various other payment options.
- KFC accepts Apple Pay in-store, and at their drive-through, even their mobile app supports it.
- Chick-fil-A has been accepting Apple Pay at all of its locations since 2016. Their mobile app supports Apple Pay as well as in-store purchasing with it.
- Subway is another restaurant that lets you pay with Apple Pay
- Pizza Hut even accepts Apple Pay via their mobile app and through their website.
- Dominos is another pizza place that accepts Apple Pay.
As you can see, most fast-food restaurants accept some form of digital payment, maybe it’s not Apple Pay, but that’s usually due to agreements they have set up with other payment providers.
So does this really mean that you can’t buy a triple baconator at Wendy’s with Apple Pay?
Does Wendy’s Take Apple Pay?
Wendy’s does not accept Apple Pay and probably won’t let you use it in-store even if they have newer tap-available payment terminals.
You can certainly call your local Wendy’s or visit to see if that is really the case because Wendy’s doesn’t have an official public statement to provide on Apple Pay or other payment methods; they just don’t include them.
I can also say from personal experience that my local Wendy’s does not have an option to accept Apple Pay or even tap my debit card, I have to physically put your card into the chip-reader and punch in my code. Not allowing tap payments is actually a pretty strange thing these days when most stores allow you to tap at least up to $100, and I’m not buying more than $100 worth of Wendy’s at a time.