|A worker fries chicken at a restaurant in Seoul on March 23. Newsis|
By Kim Jae-heun
A 31-year-old college student surnamed Lee tried to order fried chicken through Baedal Minjok (Baemin), the country's largest food delivery app, an hour before the Korea national football team's World Cup Match against Uruguay, Thursday night, but he couldn't because the app was not working for several hours.
"I tried to place an order with Baemin, but the platform was not working well. I tried three times but the restaurants were not receiving my orders and the last one got canceled. I have never experienced this before," Lee said.
Another consumer, Chang also ordered fried chicken on Coupang Eats, and his order went through, but he had to visit the store to receive it because the delivery took substantially longer than usual due to the soaring number of orders.
"Usually, it takes less than 30 minutes for the food to arrive after placing an order online. But because there was a World Cup match yesterday, I think orders piled up at many of the restaurants. When I arrived at the fried chicken restaurant, there were quite a number of people complaining about the late delivery," Chang said.
|Baedal Minjok posted a notice online requesting customers to order food directly with the restaurant due to a server error, on Nov. 24. Screenshot from Baedal Minjok's platform|
Prior to the Korean soccer team's game against Uruguay at 10:00 p.m., Thursday, Baemin's platform had a server error from 8:40 p.m. On that day, online orders for fried chicken multiplied at Baemin from 5:00 p.m. onwards and fried chicken brands accounted for all of the top 10 most searched food items on the platform.
Baemin put up a notice on its platform to call the restaurants directly as there were too many calls coming in at the same time.
"Due to the World Cup match, many calls made through our platform are being delayed at the moment. Please call the restaurants directly to order food," Baemin said on its official website.
Coupang Eats also asked for their customers' understanding on the delay of the fried chicken orders for the same reason.
However, it turned out that there was no problem with placing orders for other foods.
Coupang Eats posted another online notice earlier on the day that it will not support food delivery services to Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, as mass cheering in the streets will take place there for the Korean team.
"Our server slowed down for 40 minutes from 8:35 p.m. on Thursday to 9:15 p.m. due to orders pouring in prior to the World Cup match. However, we took instant action to solve the issue and our platform returned to normal after that. We are sorry for the inconvenience," a Baemin official said.