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Thursday, June 24, 2021

BTS Meal craze: Indonesia forced to close McDonald’s outlets over Covid-19 fears

Many fans said that seeing the long queues, they had decided to wait to purchase the special BTS Meal, but were left heartbroken as the next day, the stores were closed.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 12, 2021 10:42:40 am
bts meal, bts meal indonesia, mcdonals Indonesia outlets closed, bts meal frenzy covid fear, Indonesia close mcd outlets bts order, odd news, Indian expressThe Korean boyband along with McDonald's announced the special meal in May, leaving fans around the globe excited. (Source: McDonald's Indonesia/ Twitter)

Bangtan Sonyeondan, the global musical phenomenon, is not only ruling charts with its latest single ‘Butter’ , but has also left fans in a frenzy as they try to get their hands on a BTS Meal, the band’s collaboration with McDonald’s. However, their craze in Indonesia went to such heights that authorities had to temporarily shut numerous outlet on Wednesday (June 9) over Covid-19 fears.

The international fast-food chain joined hands with the K-Pop band recently to come up with a special meal, consisting of 10 chicken nuggets, chips, a coke and two sauces (sweet chilli and Cajun), announced in 50 countries around the world. In every country, BTS fans, known as ARMY, tried their best to get not only the snack but also the purple wrappings, which were specially customised to the fandom’s colour.

In Indonesia, while in-store eating was not allowed due to the pandemic, the meals led to huge queues outside outlets.

Videos and photos flooded social media, showing long traffic snarls and scores of delivery drivers waiting outside stores to get the orders.

Police in Jakarta said that a total of 32 branches were temporarily closed across the city. There were further closures in other parts of the country. “In the Central Jakarta area, there were 6 outlets, 6 outlets in West Jakarta, 5 outlets in North Jakarta, 9 outlets in South Jakarta and 6 outlets in East Jakarta,” the law enforcement agency said on its website, stating authorities found stores violating health protocols.

“We temporarily closed four of six McDonald’s stores here in Semarang for a couple of days,” Fajar Purwoto, the city’s public order agency head, told AFP. “I don’t want Semarang to be in the Covid-19 red zone again.”

McDonald’s Indonesia was quick to remind ardent fans that the BTS meal will be available till the next month, and so there was no need to “rush and worry about running out of this product”.

While social media was abuzz with lucky fans who received their special meal, others started complaining as they couldn’t place their orders.

On the other hand, BTS Indonesian Army launched a special campaign to thank delivery riders who stood for several hours to get them the meal. According to The Star, the fan group started a fundraiser through the crowdfunding website Kitabisa, to distribute food packages for Gojek drivers who helped deliver their purchases of the special edition McDonald’s meal.

Indonesian BTS Army, through its Twitter account, urged fans not to indulge in panic buying and to give generous tips to online drivers, the report added.

A donation made by ARMY titled “Welcoming BTS Meal & BTS Anniversary With Sharing” crossed the Rp70-million figure since it was first released on Tuesday night, or within 24 hours, the report said.

Tasya Mutiara Ramlan, admin of a BTS fan account on Twitter that has more than 260,000 followers, said she knew the group was popular in Indonesia but the reaction to the McDonald’s meals surprised even her, ABC News reported.

On May 26, the limited-edition meal was launched ahead of the group’s eighth anniversary.

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