TGI Friday’s Drone Encourages Mistletoe Kisses
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a sleigh. No, it’s actually – a drone carrying mistletoe? That’s right. You don’t have to ask Santa for new glasses this Christmas because you read that sentence correctly. Fortunately, there’s no need to contact the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) because these drones are staying indoors; more specifically inside a handful of TGI Friday’s locations worldwide.
The Carrollton, TX-based restaurant company piloted (pun intended) this technologically interactive program in the United Kingdom after conducting a survey with over 2,000 Britons that produced surprising results about UK’s lack of Christmas smooches. According to the survey, 47% of the British population have never been kissed under the mistletoe even though 27% of those surveyed plan to lock lips under the festive plant this year. Hoping to take advantage of what 42% of the people surveyed considered to be “one of the most romantic times of the year,” TGI Friday’s released the drones to the public.
Steered by skilled and trained restaurant drone operators, these “Mobile Mistletoe” drones come in two sizes: the 10-inch, four-bladed drone and the much larger 23-inch, six-bladed version. The drone’s weight starts at about 1kg (roughly 2.2 lbs.) and can fly up to speeds of 35 mph. Hovering about 8 feet above unsuspecting couples, each drone is equipped with a fully operational HD camera, also known as the “kiss cam,” that can film a bird’s-eye view of every special moment for up to 20 minutes at a time.
The drones are not only to encourage people to “get a little closer at this romantic time of the year,” according to TGI Friday’s spokeswoman, Rachel Waller, but are a way to lure customers into its locations. TGI Friday’s surveyed that the average American, in the U.S., only goes out to dinner 74 times a year, which explains why casual dining restaurants have been hurting. To ease the pain, TGI Fridays is in the midst of refranchising, renovating its locations, and revamping its menu.
TGI Friday’s rewards every couple that shares a smooch under the mistletoe-carrying drone with gift cards. On the other hand, if you’re not caught kissing under the drone, the restaurant chain announced plans to reward random couples who post their mistletoe-kisses on social media with the hashtag #HappyFridayHoliday.