The Jakarta Metro Police has asked McDonald’s Indonesia to discontinue the special edition BTS Meal after a number of stores were shut by authorities for attracting droves of motorcycle taxi/delivery drivers (locally known as ojol) ordering the meal for customers.
The police summoned McDonald’s management to explain yesterday’s frenzy, with representatives of the fast food company conveying their apologies to authorities.
But the police don’t seem content with an apology, urging McDonald’s to scrap the special edition meal for the time being.
“We suggested [McDonald’s management] yesterday so the BTS Meal promo is discontinued for now. We can’t have crowds like this anymore,” Jakarta Metro Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said today.
The special edition set — a collaboration between K-pop superstars BTS and the fast food giant that was launched yesterday in Indonesia — sparked a buying frenzy from fans of the K-pop superstars, who relied on delivery apps and services to make the purchases.
The Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) had a busy day dispersing delivery drivers yesterday, and temporarily closed more than a dozen outlets for the day in response to the massive crowds of drivers in green jackets that gathered amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Twenty McDonald’s restaurants in Jakarta were ordered to close temporarily, including the outlet at Gambir Station, while a dozen others were given written warnings. The complete list of shut restaurants can be found here.
McDonald’s Indonesia’s spokesperson Sutji Lantyka said the chain is now implementing new measures to prevent long queues.
“To anticipate the [queues of Drive-thru and delivery purchases], we are implementing open-close orders on the order platforms. If we’re swamped with orders, we’ll close [the outlets on the food delivery platforms] and we’ll open them again once the orders dwindle down,” Sutji said yesterday.
McDonald’s Indonesia has not indicated that they would discontinue the BTS Meal as suggested by the police. That said, we could not find any available BTS Meal on our food delivery apps this afternoon.
The BTS Meal consists of nine pieces of Chicken McNuggets, Sweet Chili and Cajun sauces, medium fries, and a drink. The limited edition sauces are said to have been picked by the members of the K-pop megastars themselves, as well as inspired by McDonald’s in South Korea. The set, which is sold for IDR51,000 (US$3.58) each, will be available in Indonesia until July 7.
McDonald’s Indonesia initially made the BTS Meal available only through Drive-thru and a number of delivery platforms to supposedly avoid customers queueing at their outlets. It seems that they might have underestimated BTS’ popularity in the country, as photos and videos revealed how crowds of ojol drivers had lined up for hours in various locations.