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Bubble tea shop Playmade counsels employee, apologises to GrabFood delivery rider after Waterway Point incident

SINGAPORE — The management of bubble tea shop Playmade said on Wednesday (April 22) that it has counselled the employee involved in Tuesday’s incident with a GrabFood delivery rider at Waterway Point.

The company said that contrary to social media chatter, Playmade was not the party that reported the incident to the police.

The company said that contrary to social media chatter, Playmade was not the party that reported the incident to the police.

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SINGAPORE — The management of bubble tea shop Playmade said on Wednesday (April 22) that it has counselled the employee involved in Tuesday’s incident with a GrabFood delivery rider at Waterway Point mall.

Playmade said that its employee had uttered an expletive at the rider, setting off a commotion that went viral on social media.

In a statement on Wednesday, Playmade said that the staff member had expressed “deep remorse over his uncouth choice of adjective”. The incident took place at its outlet at Waterway Point in Punggol Central.

Playmade said that its management and staff members "sincerely apologise" to the delivery rider, its customers, as well as other Grab drivers who were “inconvenienced by Tuesday’s incident”.

“Playmade remains very appreciative of all Grab drivers who are among the frontline heroes in our fight against Covid-19, putting their health at risk to deliver food and beverages to households all over Singapore during this challenging time,” the company said.

Describing the chain of events, Playmade said that its Waterway Point outlet saw a huge surge in demand on Tuesday, both at its physical store and through the Grab platform, after the Government announced a tightening of the circuit breaker measures here for more businesses to shut temporarily.

From Wednesday, standalone food-and-beverage (F&B) outlets that sell only beverages, packaged snacks, confectioneries or desserts will have to close their outlets until at least May 4. These include bubble tea outlets across Singapore.

Playmade said that in order to cope with the surge in demand after customers flocked to its outlet, one of its staff members had pressed a “pause button on the Grab device” to stop more online orders from coming in.

However, the company said it was unaware that there were already more than 100 orders in the system “waiting to be matched with Grab riders, as well as orders that would continue to be matched in the one or two minutes after the system was paused”.

Playmade said it was during this time that a Grab food delivery rider expressed his impatience at one of its employees and “repeatedly demanded to know” how long he would have to wait.

“Under pressure and out of frustration, our staff responded that if he had to give an estimate, it would be ‘a f****** long’ wait. The driver reacted angrily and asked our staff for an apology,” Playmade said.

The company said that in order to calm the situation, the staff member and other workers at the outlet apologised to the rider.

“Other customers (also) tried to defuse the situation,” Playmade said, noting that the video of the visibly upset rider confronting and threatening its employee had gone viral on social media.

It added: “Contrary to social media chatter, Playmade was not the party that reported the incident to the police.”

In relation to the incident, the police said earlier that they have arrested a 38-year-old man for public nuisance.

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bubble tea circuit breaker GrabFood Waterway Point

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