Squid Game craze gives Indonesian cafe a boost as borders open

As Indonesia reopens its borders to international tourism, companies are coming up with creative ways to attract customers.

As many companies struggle to recoup their losses after the pandemic, a coffee shop in the nation’s capital, Jakarta, has jumped on the Netflix craze that has taken the world by storm.

The world’s fourth most populous nation has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, as government mandates have seen the country endure long and extensive lockdowns over the past 18 months.

Strawberry Cafe in Jakarta’s Green City district is accelerating its post-pandemic recovery by transforming the cafe space into a replica of Netflix’s South Korean hit, Squid Game.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by staff disguised as menacing hooded and masked guards from the South Korean TV show, and that’s where the games begin.

To access the cafe and games inside, visitors must perform a red light show, green light in a dark room decorated with bright neon lights.

The new theme has proven to be a hit and Putra Priyadi, the cafe’s owner, says business has tripled since the renovation and reopening last week.

The dystopian drama Squid Game is the streaming service’s biggest original series launch, the South Korean series broke all Netflix records and was broadcast by 111 million accounts in just 27 days.

Squid Game has been particularly popular in Indonesia, where Korean dramas and Korean films already have a large following.

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