TGI Friday’s Mistletoe Drone Fail, Cuts Photojournalist In the Face

Drones can be dangerous.

tgifridaysDrones are the thing now. People want one for their backyard so they can spy on their neighbors. Filmmakers want them for their movies. Amazon wants them for deliveries. Skynet will take over humanity using cyborgs and drones.

Not to be left behind, TGI Fridays is using drones in its restaurants, sending mistletoe to people’s tables so they can kiss as part of its #Togethermas campaign. The drones, which started in the UK, landed at a restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn on December 4 and a local reporter went to the restaurant to check it out. This is basically why TGI Friday has these flying contraptions: introduce something kind of fun, kind of weird, very over-the-top and watch it get some media attention.

But the drone in Brooklyn promptly went out of control and cut a photographer’s face. Even better, the TGI Friday worker behind the controls blamed a reporter for causing the accident.

The reporter from the local Brooklyn Daily tells the story, saying the blades cut photographer Georgine Benvenuto on the face.

“It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin,” said Benvenuto, to be precise. Ouch. “Thank god it didn’t go anywhere under my eye — that is my livelihood.”

So this is pretty serious. But David Quinones, the man controlling the drone, said the reporter is at fault. When he tried to land the 10-inch drone on her hand, she flinched and that caused the accident.

“We do not let consumers touch it,” said a TGI Friday spokesperson, Frances Karkosak.

But in this case, a customer did touch it. And another was badly hurt. And the fact that the staffer was so dismissive of the incident is troubling. Quinones goes on to say, “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.” What the?

So if you’re going to use a drone folks, be careful. If you’re going to use a drone in a promotion, be even more careful. Nothing can derail a PR campaign like bloodshed. Instead of looking up “TGI Fridays” and “drone” and finding bunch of cute pics of smiling happy people having a kiss over a plate of fries, there’s nothing but stories about how a reporter got hit in the face.

Image via oneinchpunch /