Indonesia Shuts Down 20 McDonald’s Sites After ‘BTS Meal’ Creates Mobs

Food delivery riders queue up at a McDonalds outlet in Bogor on June 9, 2021, to buy the new BTS-meal deal for hungry fans in the K-Pop mad country, causing more than a dozen McDonald's outlets to temporarily shuttered over virus fears. (Photo by ADITYA AJI / AFP) (Photo by …
ADITYA AJI/AFP via Getty Images

Indonesian police shut down 20 McDonald’s restaurants in Jakarta on Wednesday after the release of a new K-Pop-themed meal curated by the Korean boy band BTS caused food delivery drivers to flood McDonald’s locations across the city, creating massive crowds and lines.

The Jakarta Metro Police “sanctioned 32 McDonald’s outlets in the Jakarta area related to the crowds caused during the launch of the BTS Meal menu promo,” Indonesian news site Kompas reported on June 10. Of the 32 restaurants that received disciplinary action, “20 outlets were temporarily closed [for 24 hours starting June 9] and 12 other outlets were given written sanctions.”

Police extended the McDonald’s closures beyond the national capital, Jakarta, to “several other cities,” including Semarang in eastern Indonesia, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“We temporarily closed four of six McDonald’s stores here in Semarang for a couple of days,” Fajar Purwoto, a Semarang public order official, told ABC on June 9. “The temporary closure is to avoid crowds in the drive-throughs and queues for delivery purchases. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

McDonald’s BTS meal launched in Indonesia on June 9 but has been available in dozens of countries, including the U.S., since late May. The meal consists of nine pieces of “Chicken McNuggets,” “Sweet Chili” and “Cajun” sauces, a medium order of French fries, and a beverage. Members of the K-Pop group BTS, which is a South Korean boy band popular worldwide, reportedly chose the limited-edition sauces themselves. The meal sells in Indonesia for “IDR 51,000 (US $3.58)” and will be available in Indonesia through July 7, according to the Indonesian news site Coconuts Jakarta.

The Jakarta Metro Police summoned members of the McDonald’s management team in Jakarta on June 9 over the large crowds and ensuing chaos caused by the BTS meal launch at their restaurants. The police department said the frenzy created unsafe public health conditions during the ongoing Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Representatives of the U.S.-based fast food company “convey[ed] their apologies to authorities,” according to Coconuts Jakarta. Despite the apologies, the Jakarta Metro Police ordered McDonald’s on Thursday to temporarily discontinue its BTS meal in the Indonesian national capital.

“We suggested [to 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 told Kompass on June 10.

McDonald’s restaurants sanctioned over the BTS meal incident on June 9 may be fined for breaching state health protocols by causing large crowds to gather during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, Jakarta’s deputy governor, Ahmad Riza Patria, told reporters on June 9.

“The fine is 50 million rupiah [$4,500],” Patria noted.


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