In theory, the "Mobile Mistletoe" idea was pretty cute — the concept being a drone flies around a TGI Friday's toting mistletoe, prompting diners to kiss and catching it all on film.
But after the gimmick had its New York debut at the restaurant chain's Sheepshead Bay location on Dec. 4, things didn't go quite according to plan.
That's because one of the remote-controlled crafts hit Brooklyn Daily photographer Georgine Benvenuto smack in the face with one of its blades.
“It literally chipped off [the] tip of my nose,” Benvenuto said as she apparently bled profusely. “It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin.”
Brooklyn Daily reported that drone operator David Quiones blamed the accident on the reporter, saying one had never happened before with the 10-inch drone or the 23-incher:
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. But Benvenuto insisted that the responsibility lies with the man operating the controls.
A spokesperson for the restaurant said there had been no casualties at earlier Mobile Mistletoe events in Texas and Long Island, New York.
"We do not let consumers touch it," said spokesperson Frances Karkosak, who "dismissed concerns about further injuries."
Quiones brushed off the notion that an accident will scare customers away from the promotion.
"If people get hurt, they're going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly," he said. "There is a risk involved — anything flying, there is risk."
Customers who spoke to Brooklyn Daily indeed seemed pretty unfazed — one who saw a photo of the injury (which you can see here) said, "I've seen far more worse blood than that."
A spokesperson for TGI Friday's told BuzzFeed News that it was an "isolated event" during a demonstration.
"Of course, safety is our first priority and we are sorry that this isolated incident occurred," the spokesperson said.
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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