Burgers, happy hour specials and ... drones? The tiny remote-controlled gadgets probably aren't the first thing you think of when you hear TGI Fridays, but the chain has been using the copters to spread the holiday cheer this season by dangling mistletoe over couples in the restaurant. The fun publicity stunt went wrong recently when one of the drones crashed into a photographer's face at a New York location.
Courier Life photographer Georgine Benvenuto was covering the drone-centric festivities when a small drone collided with her face, cutting her cheek and taking a piece out of the tip of her nose. The drone operator was trying to land on a reporter's hand when the accident occurred.
The reporter blames operator David Quiones for not being careful, but he tells a different story.
Quiones had encouraged our reporter to let him land the smaller of the two aircraft on her hand, but she flinched when the 10-inch drone touched down — and he said that is what caused the four-bladed flying machine to careen into the face of our photographer nearby.
The accident didn't appear to bother customers too much. Most of them brushed off the incident and didn't seem to mind having the drones in the restaurant.
Diners at the Harkness Avenue eatery were more amused than threatened by the kiss-coaxing drones looming overhead, saying Benvenuto’s injury was just a flesh wound.
One man who kissed his wife underneath the flying mistletoe would even feel comfortable having it in his house.
“If you wanna bring it to the house, she’s gonna blow dry her hair with it,” said George Gonzales, who has been coming to TGI Fridays with his wife for their twice-a-week “date night” for almost 16 years.
TGI Fridays has held previous mistletoe drone promotions at locations in Texas and Long Island without any facial injuries. The restaurant has said it doesn't let customers touch the drones.
It's not the worst drone-related story we've heard about lately. Just yesterday I told you about an Airbus A320 plane that nearly collided with a drone. Still, I don't think I'll be eating underneath a drone anytime soon. Spinning blades near your face just sounds like a bad idea.