Update on Apr. 24, 1:42pm: Mothership has updated the article to include Grab's statement.
The police also revealed on Apr. 23 that the Burger King staff in the video has been fined S$300 for flouting Circuit Breaker measures.
Tensions are running high for those working in essential services as Day 16 of Singapore's Circuit Breaker rolled around.
On Apr. 21, a quarrel occurred between a GrabFood delivery personnel and a Playmade bubble tea shop staff at Waterway Point, resulting in one arrest.
The cause of the kerfuffle appeared to have stemmed from the sudden increase in food orders that accumulated beyond what the food service staff could handle that night, causing long waits.
And it appears that wasn't the only incident where a spat occurred.
An irate food delivery man and a Burger King staff in Ang Mo Kio also appeared to have had a go at each other on Apr. 22.
Anger over deliveries
A video circulating on Facebook showed an argument occurring between a male Burger King (BK) staff and a person filming behind the camera.
The camera person is believed to be a Grab food delivery personnel, but the video was put up on Facebook by an unrelated member of the public, who revealed that the incident occurred at AMK Hub.
Other staff and bystanders, including another GrabFood delivery man, could be seen attempting to restrain the young BK staff and calm both parties down.
The person behind the camera could be heard saying he will "make" the BK staff "viral", and even egged the BK staff on, as the BK staff attempted to snatch away the phone being used to record him.
The BK staff then whipped off his mask and said he wasn't scared of going viral.
Midway through the video, the camera person gestured angrily at the cash register and repeated, "Your system down not my problem!"
He then blamed the attitude of the BK staff and asked why the fast food outlet is still taking orders when the "system is down", implying that the food delivery personnel might not have been able to fulfil his order and earn the fees.
Another man then convinced the delivery person filming to leave, commiserating in Hokkien that everyone is stressed during this period.
However, the deliveryman insisted that the BK staff feeling stressed is not a problem of his, and he shouldn't use this as an excuse to "show attitude".
You can watch the full video here.
Deliveryman claimed BK staff challenged him to a fight
In the video's post, it was speculated that the crowds and long waiting time for orders might have aggravated the situation, and suggested that the two parties involved in the argument should have been more understanding.
The post said:
"During this CB period when a lot of ppl are staying at home to order food thus resulting in overwhelming orders in every fast food or popular restaurants. My advice is if u can’t wait den don’t work. Cos no use rushing these staffs when they are preparing the food for orders that come in first. And for those who order food for delivery. No use rushing these delivery riders. They have to queue up and wait for their orders also. If u can’t wait den cook urself,order during off peak or go downstairs pack urself."
A subsequent comment on the All Singapore Staff Facebook page, allegedly contributed by the man behind the camera, attempted to explain what happened.
The food delivery personnel claimed that the scuffle started when he tried to make a report to Grab and took a photo of the BK staff.
"Hi this happen at BK @amk hub, when I reach there seeing all the phone on the table, I knew something Grab system down. I decide to cancel but Grab call center was busy so I take a photo n report using their online help center.
but this guy became agitated asking y I take him and shouting at me, so I reply I'm not taking photo of him. den he was getting out of control challenging me to a fight, and eventually he hit my hand and cause my old wound crack open again. eventually police came.
every1 is stress, but pls don't insult rider, the handling can be better.
<Reader's Contribution by R.L.>"
Burger King says it will not tolerate any abuse against its staff
In response to Mothership's queries, Burger King's marketing director Irene Tay said the fast food chain is aware of the incident.
Tay said that during the period the video was filmed, the outlet experienced a surge in delivery orders following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's national address, and "despite [their] best efforts to fulfil the orders, it [was] taking much longer than usual".
She said that while she empathised with the pressure the delivery rider was facing due to the large increase in demand, Burger King would not tolerate any form of abuse towards its staff:
"We can empathize with the pressure that the rider is currently facing. However, we will not condone nor tolerate any abuse to our staff. Our staff come to work to prepare food for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with courtesy and respect. We have a Dignity at Work and Zero Tolerance policy. This means that aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff or any member of the public within our premises will not be tolerated under any circumstances."
Surge in demand resulted in longer wait for orders
Tay said that the franchise has seen an immense increase in delivery and takeaway orders since the start of the Circuit Breaker, resulting in "immense pressure" on the staff who have been working non-stop to prepare meals:
"The surge in orders for delivered meals has aggravated the tremendous pressure on both our crew and the delivery riders. Our team has been working tirelessly alongside delivery riders to fulfil the orders, while adhering to the new safe distancing guidelines."
She explained that orders are also taking longer to fulfil during this period as the burgers are grilled fresh, and there is an additional step to double pack takeaway orders to ensure zero contact with the food.
Tay urged both customers and delivery partners to be patient and understanding in light of the longer wait.
The staff in the video has since undergone counselling, and Burger King is working with its delivery partners on how best to streamline and manage the orders during this hectic period.
Grab responded that they are aware of the incident and investigations are ongoing, and urged all users on the "platform to treat one another with respect and kindness".
Top photo from Patrick Tan / FB