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Buying frenzy ensues as BTS Meal is launched in Indonesia

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jun 10, 2021 5:01 pm

Over a dozen McDonald’s in Indonesia have been temporarily closed by local Indonesian authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The fast food chain’s announcement in April that it would offer a meal inspired by the K-pop supergroup BTS has brewed excitement among fans across the world. 

Those who have been lucky enough to get first dibs on the BTS Meal have been posting their experience and reactions on social media, making fans’ excitement grow even further.

In Indonesia, where there is a huge ARMY fanbase according to Twitter, the BTS Meal was made available on June 9 much to the delight of fans. 

But due to the overwhelming demand, some Indonesian fans said there were stores that were forced to close early and others were unable to purchase the meal. According to Bandwagon, there were long queues and waiting time as long as seven hours just to get a hold of the much-anticipated meal.

Photos and videos of packed McDonald’s branches with food delivery riders seen shoulder to shoulder and seemingly in chaos as they waited for their orders also made rounds on social media. 

Food delivery riders in Indonesia wait for their BTS Meal orders. Photo from @taephils on Twitter

According to the Jakarta Post, this prompted local officials to temporarily shutter at least 13 outlets for fear of spreading COVID-19, given that Indonesia is one of the hardest-hit countries in the region.

In the Philippines, Pinoy ARMYs have been waiting for the BTS Meal for weeks, which is set to arrive in the country on June 18. The meal will be available in almost 50 countries worldwide, and consists of fries, drink and 10-piece Chicken McNuggets with Sweet Chili and Cajun sauces.

What can the ARMYs in the country expect from the fast food chain on the day the much-awaited offering drops? 

McDonald’s PH says it has a full team working to ensure that it will be able to provide customers with a “great BTS Meal experience through every touchpoint.”

“With the Philippines being one of the countries with the biggest BTS fanbase, we are anticipating much excitement and support when we launch the BTS Meal on June 18. The BTS Meal will be available across all channels (McDelivery, Drive-Thru, Take-Out, Dine-In) to provide customers more options for ordering the meal,” said McDonald’s PH corporate communications head Adi Hernandez in a statement sent to PhilSTAR L!fe.

Hernandez said preparations at the restaurant level are on going as they are anticipating a high demand for the meal during the first few weeks of the launch.

“A big part of the preparation is to ensure that we will not compromise the quality and safety of our food, and the safety of our people through the strong reinforcement of our M Safe protocols—which has always been part of our operating culture,” Hernandez added.

The BTS Meal, which is set to arrive in the Philippines on Friday, June 18, consists of the K-pop supergroup's signature orders—fries, a drink, 10-pc. Chicken McNuggets and Sweet Chili and Cajun sauces.

As some ARMYs will perhaps troop to different branches of the fast food chain while others may have their BTS Meals delivered, the health and safety of the community is still more important over scoring the much-coveted meal of their favorite K-pop group.

According to Hernandez, McDonald’s preparation includes practicing minimum health and safety protocols (wearing of face masks and face shields, and maintaining social distancing especially while queuing), frequent sanitation of high-touch customer areas, practice of contactless drive-thru and delivery, availability of cashless payment options to make sure employees and customers are safe.

“We will also be reminding our customers via our social media pages prior to the launch to ensure that these protocols will be observed once they order their much-awaited BTS Meals,” she concluded.

Banner and thumbnail photo from AFP