Surge pricing is Silicon Valley's most insidious trend. Popularized by Uber—a company synonymous with fucking people over—surge pricing allows companies to randomly jack up prices whenever demand is running a little high, reaping profits for startups while customers on a budget are left behind. And now techies have brought the brutal manifestation of supply and demand economics to food.

Sprig, a food delivery startup that ships on-demand meals to people's doors, just announced that it is introducing "dynamic" fees when people are the hungriest.

But in order to move closer towards our vision, to bring Sprig to everyone, our business needs to continue to evolve. [...]

Previously where you may have seen "out for now," we will now be testing dynamic delivery fees. Dynamic delivery fees will adjust up or down throughout Sprig's service based on how busy things get and how far away a delivery is. While delivery fees will go up during the rushes — like at 8pm in the Marina — they will also decrease when things are slower, meaning you may even see free delivery!

Why are we testing dynamic delivery pricing? Because it will enable us to continue to provide fair compensation for our hard-working Sprig Servers as we continue to expand. Furthermore, it makes Sprig more reliable for you — so you can get a Sprig meal right when you want it, straight to your desk or door.

Every startup has a vision, and Sprig's is a future of people pumping up prices during the dinner rush.

Imagine this practice in any other restaurant setting? You walk up to a restaurant at 7:30pm and the host tells you a 30 percent surcharge would be added to the bill because it's the dinner rush. Or you order a pizza at lunch but you're told it'll cost $4 more because a couple people called ahead of you. Any sane person would bail elsewhere, and almost certainly scrawl out a borderline belligerent screed on Yelp about the ridiculousness of the place.

But this is Silicon Valley, where dystopian nightmares are greeted with applause. So it's no surprise TechCrunch is already fully behind the concept:

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Photo: Sprig