Tensions soar as Singaporeans swarm shops with orders for 'one last bubble tea'

PHOTO: Reddit/sian_half, Facebook/Ah Siong

With the government's announcement yesterday (April 21) that all standalone food and beverage outlets, such as bubble tea shops, will be shut until May 4, many Singaporeans pulled out their phones to order "one last bubble tea".

But with long queues and a never-ending list of orders to fulfil, tensions ran high between delivery riders and bubble tea store staff.

Two separate arguments broke out the last night, one of which happened at Playmade's Waterway Point outlet.

In videos splashed across social media, a GrabFood delivery rider was seen behaving aggressively and yelling at Playmade's staff, yelling: "He scold me F***er you know! F*** you like that you know! [sic]"

The 38-year-old man had to be restrained by several passers-by and was eventually arrested for public nuisance.

The other argument involved another GrabFood rider who threatened the staff of a bubble tea store by showing off a tag around his ankle.

Close down one bubble tea cause so much tension. Pity the service staffs and delivery riders doing mad rush to fill those last minute orders <Reader's Contribution by Tan>

Posted by All Singapore Stuff on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, Playmade cited "immense pressure" experienced by both staff members and delivery riders as they had received over 150 different orders, which amount to an average of 600 cups, within the last hour of closing alone.

Meanwhile, a young staff member working at Liho in Century Square buckled from the pressure of a surge in orders and cried. According to deliveryman Adam Shah, there were only two people behind the counter while a crowd of around 30 riders waited to pick up their customers' drinks.

After the girl said "I'm so tired already" and burst into tears, Adam encouraged other riders to explain the situation to their customers, but a few said that their customers were unwilling to cancel their orders.

Selicia Xue, the Facebook user who posted the video, also implored others to cancel their orders. The video was uploaded alongside a photo of receipts stretching across and spilling off the counter.

"[The staff] are still working now unable to call it a day. My mum delivers. She still not home yet. [sic] It's almost 12 am," she wrote.

"Let your delivery driver go home. Let the bubble tea staff go home."