On December 4th, TGI Fridays implemented new “mistletoe drones”, mini helicopters dangling mistletoe, in the hopes of inspiring couples dining to kiss each other, in return for rewards from the restaurant. However, the fun ended with a mistletoe drone flying out of control and hitting newspaper photographer Georgine Benvenuto in the face. The injury, involving a tip of her nose getting cut off, was dismissed by TGI Friday’s as being “a flesh wound”.
Sounding as if they were simply defending themselves, the restaurant staff appeared to blame Benvenuto for getting injured and even for overreacting. Benvenuto claims that part of her nose actually got cut off. Daniel Amen, who was also a patron that evening is supporting these allegations because it was him who acted first to help her. while others, such as Karim Turner of Yonkers, claim that it is simply a scratch on her nose, and that he has seen “worse blood than that.”
Naturally, everyone has seen “worse than that” before. That is not the main concern. The problem with Benvenuto’s injury, whether she is exaggerating or not, is that a seemingly harmless mistletoe drone hit a customer and drew blood, which, one would think, puts the restaurant at fault for her injury.
TGI Fridays spokespeople have claimed that there have not been any further injuries, and dismissed any concern about the same thing happening again. Drone operator David Quiones maintains that similar accidents had not occurred before.
“If people get hurt, they’re going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly,” Quiones says.
However, there is a difference between boarding a plane knowing what has happened to many airplanes throughout history, and coming to a restaurant looking for dinner and getting hit in the face by a machine that the restaurant only just implemented.