Published: 11th June 2021
What the FAQ: How did the BTS fandom force McDonald’s to close their Indonesian outlets?
After introducing the BTS Meal, celebrating the South Korean pop sensation, the restaurant received a large number of orders that threatened to break COVID restrictions in the South Asian country
In June, US-based fast-food chain McDonald's launched a new addition to their menu. In collaboration with the K-Pop band BTS, they introduced the ‘BTS Meal’ which consisted of recipes that are usually available in their South Korean outlet. Including 10 pieces of Chicken McNuggets, fries, coke, and dipping sauces, it premiered across the world in an attempt to cater to fans of the band. However, the brand was caught off guard by the sheer scale of fan reactions. Here’s a look at how things went:
Why were McDonald’s outlets forced to close in Indonesia?
The BTS meal was launched in Indonesia on June 9. Fans flocked to their nearest McDonald’s from all over the country to get a taste of the meal and flaunt the meals that represented their favourite band. Indonesia, which has been reporting their highest rise in COVID cases in the past three months, has been on high alert for the past few weeks. The number of fans crowding outside the restaurants caused alarm and immediately led to their closing in a number of outlets.
How did authorities respond?
The country’s Public Order agency told AFP, “We temporarily closed four of six McDonald's stores in Semarang for a couple of days.” Following this, Jakarta and a number of other cities closed more than 13 McDonald's restaurants that faced a frenzy of online orders and fans waiting in line for take-out. The restaurants were also forced to pay a fine of 50 million rupiah for the breach of public safety. Associate Director of Communication for McDonald's Indonesia Sutji Lantyka responded to the chain of events by reassuring fans disappointed by the closures saying that the meals would be available until July.
How did BTS rise to fame?
The Bangtan Boys or BTS is a band made up of seven members from Seoul. After grouping together in 2010, they released their first single album 2 Cool 4 Skool in 2013 under the production company Big Hit Entertainment. The band appealed to young audiences thanks to their lyrics that feature everything from mental health issues and self-love to socially relevant issues. With millions of fans worldwide, the brand has become a household name.