Several McDonald’s outlets in Indonesia have been closed temporarily after a surge of orders for its new BTS Meal violated social distancing measures.
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The BTS Meal had officially launched in the Southeast Asian country yesterday (June 9), and “at least 13 outlets” in Jakarta and several other cities were overwhelmed with food-delivery drivers who were waiting to pick up orders, AFP reported (via The Jakarta Post). By the end of last night, Merdeka reported that the tally of affected outlets had reached over 30.
Fears over another potential virus-spreading event caused authorities to intervene. These outlets were slapped with a 24-hour closure sticker to disperse drivers, who were unable to properly social distance due to the crowd size. CNN Indonesia also reported that any outlets defying the temporary restriction order would be fined.
Sutji Lantyka, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s Indonesia, has encouraged fans to stay calm as the meal will be available on its menu for the whole month.
“The BTS meal is not for today only, it is available for a month. Customers don’t need to rush out for the BTS meal or feel worry about not getting it,” she said in a statement, per Jakarta Globe.
“We appreciate growing public enthusiasm for the BTS meal. Regarding the temporary closure of our several outlets, customers’ safety is always a priority for McDonald’s Indonesia,” she added.
The BTS Meal has also caused safety concerns in Malaysia, where it was launched on May 26. A Malaysian government official had the called long queues at local McDonald’s outlets “dangerous” and “embarrassing” as the country and its medical frontliners battle record numbers of coronavirus cases.
Prior to the launch, The Jakarta Post reported on Tuesday (June 8) that a donation drive via crowdfunding platform Kitabisa was established by the local BTS ARMY (the name given to fans of the K-pop boyband) to fund and distribute food packages for Gojek drivers, anticipating the massive surge of meal orders.
As of today, the campaign has reached over RP185million. Fans have also continually encouraged each other to dispense generous tips for their orders.
The BTS Meal includes a Coke, medium fries, 10 Chicken McNuggets, and new sweet chilli and cajun sauces, which are “new limited-time sauces picked by BTS and inspired by McDonald’s South Korea”.