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Spike in demand as delivery-only McDonald’s BTS Meal launches after delay

SINGAPORE — In 2019, Taeden Goh took his mother with him to watch the Korean boyband BTS perform live in concert at the National Stadium.

Food delivery riders collecting the McDonald’s BTS Meal at the fast-food outlet in Jem mall on June 21, 2021.

Food delivery riders collecting the McDonald’s BTS Meal at the fast-food outlet in Jem mall on June 21, 2021.

  • There was high traffic on food delivery platforms shortly after the BTS Meal launched at 11am on June 21
  • Even with a surge in orders in the morning, the delivery platforms said they were able to cope with demand
  • Resellers have started asking at least S$100 when selling the limited-edition meal packaging on Carousell

 

SINGAPORE — In 2019, Taeden Goh took his mother with him to watch the Korean boyband BTS perform live in concert at the National Stadium.

Before that, his mother, Ms Ping Lim, was not a fan of the band and she sheepishly joked that she was not even able to tell them apart initially — but that all changed.

“It’s contagious being in the stadium,” Ms Lim, a consultant in her 40s, said on Monday (June 21).

That experience converted her into a member of the “army” — the term BTS fans use to refer to themselves — and on Monday, mother and son were among the hundreds of Singaporeans who placed an order for the McDonald's BTS Meal the moment it was launched at 11am.

Taeden, 13, said: “I was very excited to get it first thing in the morning, because I feel like we are part of a global fan team consisting of BTS fans in each country.” 

HIGH DEMAND FOR BTS MEAL

On the day of the launch of the highly anticipated McDonald’s BTS Meal, there was high traffic on food delivery platforms shortly after sales started. This led to some customers facing difficulties initially in placing orders, although many were successful on subsequent tries.

The meal is available only through food delivery platforms Grab and Foodpanda, as well as McDelivery — McDonald’s own delivery service. Walk-in and drive-through customers are not allowed to buy the meal.

A McDonald's staff member at Jem mall holding a sign to remind customers that the BTS Meal is available only via delivery. Photo: Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY

The BTS Meal retails for S$8.90, and consists of a drink, fries and a nine-piece Chicken McNuggets set with sweet chili and cajun sauces. The packaging includes the BTS logo.

It was originally scheduled to be launched on May 27, before being postponed to Monday owing to a heightened alert phase to curb the spread of Covid-19 from May 16.

When TODAY tried to buy the meal from GrabFood at 11am, it was listed as available, but many McDonald’s outlets became listed as “temporarily closed” less than five minutes later, presumably due to high demand.

Delivery fees from the branches that were still listed as open went up, at S$10.20 for delivery from the Gardens by the Bay outlet, for instance. The usual delivery fee ranges from S$3 to S$5.

Users on the McDelivery mobile application were directed to a virtual waiting queue.

However, most of the outlets appeared to have stocks for the meal by mid-afternoon.

At two McDonald’s branches that TODAY visited, at Bendemeer and Potong Pasir, there were several posters pasted outside to remind customers that the meal is available only through delivery. There were no long queues at these venues.

Tables were placed outside the outlets for delivery riders to collect the orders, and TODAY observed about six to seven riders at each outlet waiting to collect their orders. The process was generally orderly, with no crowding of delivery riders, unlike the chaotic scenes seen in Indonesia during the launch earlier this month.

DELIVERY FIRMS ABLE TO COPE WITH DEMAND

When contacted, McDonald’s said: “By offering the BTS Meal on delivery only, we were able to manage the delivery orders together with our delivery partners, without any overcrowding in our restaurants.”

Foodpanda said that it “saw an increase in orders for the BTS Meal this morning but it soon stabilised after lunch time”.

“We had anticipated the surge in demand and implemented an additional S$3 incentive for every completed McDonald’s delivery from 10.30am to 11.59pm today. This is to ensure that we have enough riders to meet the increased demand so that fans can have their BTS Meals delivered as fast as possible,” it added.

GrabFood said: “By leveraging our platform's tech features, such as the temporary pause function, we were able to work closely with McDonald's to proactively manage the incoming orders.”

Both Foodpanda and GrabFood declined to provide specific sales figures.

'SURPRISED BY EFFICIENCY'

Ms Maryam Ridza waited for about 20 minutes on the McDelivery online site before she was able to place her order.

“There wasn't any difficulty, I just had to wait at the landing page like buying a concert ticket. I got my meal in half an hour and I was really surprised by the efficiency,” the 30-year-old software engineer added.

When asked why they had bought the BTS Meal, Ms Lim, the consultant, said: "It was just for some fun, since we are at home.” She added that she and her son's shared love of BTS has brought them closer over the past few years.

“We listen to their songs and watch the Run BTS variety show together,” she said.

Ms Cheyenne Chia, a 22-year-old student, said that she will be buying the meal after work. “Although many may deem this collaboration as too simplistic, since it's just the logo on the packaging, I rather enjoy it. I can purchase the collaboration with a peace of mind any time I'm craving for it.

“If the meal came with exclusive extras, I foresee myself eating the meal every day just to get them, which wouldn't be too ideal healthwise,” she added.

Ms Nazihah Awang, a 19-year-old student, said that there was a delay when placing her order because it said on the Grab application that the outlet was temporarily closed. "I had to try at least three times before I was successful."

A BTS fan, Ms Nazihah said: “The nuggets and drink came in the special purple BTS packaging, but it was quite disappointing that the meal didn’t come in the BTS-branded brown bag.” 

In some other markets, a BTS-branded brown bag was included. Despite that, she added: “I'm going to keep the packaging.”

RESELLERS ON CAROUSELL

Checks by TODAY revealed that there were more than 300 listings for the meal packaging as of 9pm on Carousell, an online marketplace platform.

Some sellers have quoted prices of at least S$100 for the limited-edition nugget and drink packaging, as well as the sauces.

The majority of the listings hovered between S$10 and S$20, with many sellers emphasising that the packaging has been washed.

Related topics

BTS McDonald's food delivery Covid-19 Carousell

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