Coffee Bean is selling 54-cent drinks for 54mins on Aug 9, but people are predicting it will be the next Huawei catastrophe

A drink at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s typically costs anywhere from S$4.50 to S$8.50.
Facebook / The Coffee Bean & Team Leaf Singapore

To celebrate Singapore’s 54th birthday, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be having a one-day promotion where the prices of its small-sized drinks will be slashed to 54 cents this Friday (August 9). 

Of course, there’s a catch. 

The American coffee chain, which made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday, said that the islandwide promotion will commence at 12pm, and will last for 54 minutes exactly.

A drink at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s typically costs anywhere from S$4.50 to S$8.50.

But Singaporeans, who usually love a sweet deal, are sceptical.

Instead of jumping on the deal, many netizens have pointed out that the promotion bears a resemblance to the catastrophic Huawei promotion on July 26.

The promotion, which saw the price of Huawei’s Y6 Pro slashed from S$198 to S$54, was described as a “poor marketing gimmick” after Huawei turned away hoards of customers, saying it sold out of the phones before stores were even opened.

At the Nex shopping mall and Tampines Mall outlets, police had to be called in to control the angry crowd, which was mostly made up of elderly because the promotion was limited to Singaporeans aged 50 and above only.

A Facebook user, Yukimi Wu, said she hoped Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s promotion would not be as “chaotic”, while another user asked if the cafe chain had learned anything from the Huawei incident.

Facebook screengrab

Many people were also doubtful of the number of drinks that can be redeemed in the short time span of 54 minutes.

“By the time you reach the counter, [the] 54 minutes [will be] over,” Facebook user, Rose Liyana, said.

Another Facebook user, Fiona Lueung, said this was a “bad marketing tactic” and added: “Maybe you are trying to drive lunch sales, but this is logistically challenged.”

Facebook screengrab

And there were at least a few people who were more concerned about how customers were supposed to pay 4 cents in cash, since 1-cent coins are not easy to come by.

Facebook screengrab

In its post, the brand said the promotion will not be valid at its outlets in Changi Airport, Singapore EXPO, Sentosa, Micron, Wisma and Marina Bay Sands. 

Each customer is also allowed to redeem one small-size drink while stocks last. Additionally, its palm sugar drinks will not be available at the Orchard Central store.

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