TGI Fridays introduced a “mobile mistletoe drone” in restaurants intended to encourage customers to share a kiss, but instead it left a Brooklyn woman missing part of her nose after the small helicopter crashed into her, resulting in a bloody accident.
The popular restaurant chain introduced the mistletoe gimmick for the holidays, with the small drone flying around and landing above people’s beads. But things went wrong at a Sheepshead Bay location when the small aircraft flew out of control and clipped photographer Georgine Benvenuto in the nose with its small but sharp blades.
“It literally chipped off a tip of my nose,” said Benvenuto. “It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin.”
After the accident, TGI Fridays apparently tried to blame Benvenuto, saying that she flinched when drone operator David Quiones was landing the small aircraft near her.
Benvenuto said she isn’t buying the excuse.
“He is the one controlling it — he needs to be more careful,” she said.
The drones were introduced in TGI Fridays locations recently in order to create a bit of holiday cheer in locations.
“If guests show a little love under the mistletoe, Fridays might just show them a little love with some nice holiday gifts,” Fridays said in a press release last week.
A spokeswoman for TGI Fridays said the mistletoe drone has been used in other locations with no problem, sand said in the future it will stay further from customers.
“We do not let consumers touch it,” said Frances Karkosak, a spokeswoman for the restaurant chain.
And Quiones seemed to dismiss the TGI Fridays mistletoe drone accident as an acceptable risk of flying.
“If people get hurt, they’re going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly,” Quiones said. “There is a risk involved — anything flying, there is risk.”
The TGI Fridays mistletoe drone victim said she’s just grateful the tiny helicopter steered clear of her eye, which as a photographer she said is “my livelihood.”
[Image via TGI Fridays/YouTube]