F-bomb thrown during Singapore’s mad boba run leads to arrest of delivery guy

At left, a cup of bubble tea from Playmade. At right, Grab delivery man shouting at counter staff.  Photos: Playmade/Instagram, Facebook
At left, a cup of bubble tea from Playmade. At right, Grab delivery man shouting at counter staff. Photos: Playmade/Instagram, Facebook

A food deliveryman who blew his lid at a bubble tea shop during last night’s mad rush for boba has been arrested, police told reporters today.

The officers made the arrest just hours before the Bobacolypse, as addicts islandwide were seeking their final fix and tensions were running high. The verbal melee in question took place between a GrabFood carrier and employee of Taiwanese bubble tea chain Playmade at Punggol’s Waterway Point shopping mall. 

Police said that the 38-year-old man was arrested for public nuisance. Playmade issued a statement today apologizing to customers and deliverymen “affected” by the incident, adding that the outlet was overwhelmed by “immense pressure” when the argument took place around 9pm. 

“During this time, our team had received over 150 different orders (an average of 600 cups) via delivery alone within the last hour of closing, despite efforts to stop orders from coming through,” the chain wrote online this afternoon. “This had brought immense pressure on both our team and delivery riders to complete within that short time frame to closing.”

“We sincerely apologise to all customers and riders who were as a result, directly and indirectly affected by this incident. We are thoroughly investigating this incident with the relevant authorities involved,” they wrote online this afternoon.

Multiple videos of the incident spread online just hours after Singapore announced the extension of current COVID-19 measures until June and banned several food and drink services such as bubble tea shops from operating. That gave the thirsty public scant time to place their final orders.

In videos posted and reshared by many, including The Local Society page, a group of men are seen restraining a deliveryman trying to draw the staff member into a fight.

The deliveryman could be heard telling the employee to come out of the store, accusing the latter of calling him a “fucker.”

Netizens were split on who to blame, but a considerable number took the deliveryman’s side. Facebook user Melt Tan noted in the comments that a similar incident happened with a Playmade staff member at the Paya Lebar Quarter shopping mall.

According to Tan, a staff member had “shouted” at delivery riders to cancel their orders. This is something no deliveryman wishes to do because it reduces their income. 

“The same thing happened at the PLQ outlet last night, where the staff shouted at the 40 delivery riders after one of them asked for duration to update customer and told them “We will not be serving Grabfood orders, cancel your orders!” Those poor riders couldn’t cancel the order as it would affect their incentive=income, maybe when they loose (sic) their jobs, then they will know what it is like to do delivery, Rubbish!” Tan wrote.

Playmade’s statement also apologized for being unable to fulfill all orders. 

“Due to the unanticipated surge in demand we faced yesterday, we apologise for not being able to fulfill everyone’s orders and to get them to you on time,” it said. 


Other stories you should check out:

Singapore makes desperate dash for final haircuts and bubble tea. Here are the queues you missed. (Photos)
Singapore extends COVID-19 lockdown until June 1
Singaporean socialite contrite after sharing racially charged nightmare


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