Coronavirus: Asia

BTS meal frenzy causes closure of outlets in Indonesia

At least 13 McDonald's outlets were deluged with online food delivery drivers picking up meal sets named after the boy band BTS. PHOTO: INTERNET
At least 13 McDonald's outlets were deluged with online food delivery drivers picking up meal sets named after the boy band BTS. PHOTO: INTERNET

JAKARTA • More than a dozen Indonesian McDonald's outlets were temporarily shuttered on Wednesday over virus fears as the chain's new BTS meal deal sparked frenzied buying from fans in the K-pop mad country.

Jakarta and several other cities slapped closure stickers on at least 13 outlets that were deluged with online food delivery drivers picking up meal sets named after the hugely popular Korean boy band.

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

Indonesia is one of the hardest-hit nations in Asia. Jakarta authorities did not respond to requests for comment. But local media said five stores in the capital were shut over BTS meal orders.

The meal set of chicken nuggets, fries and a drink, first made available in Indonesia on Wednesday, has been on offer in dozens of countries since last month.

BTS have become global superstars, with millions of fans around the world since their debut in 2013.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2021, with the headline 'BTS meal frenzy causes closure of outlets in Indonesia'. Subscribe