Lots of couples kiss in restaurant booths, but the ones doing so at TGI Fridays this holiday season might want to be careful: A device hovering overhead might be taking pictures.
The casual dining chain launched a camera-equipped drone to buzz around a U.K. restaurant this week. But they’d never get away with that in surveillance-wary America, would they? Sure they would. A spokesperson for the chain confirmed to Adweek: "Yes, the drones will be in the U.S."
Setting aside the fact that drones are a slightly delicate topic these days, Fridays isn't sending in the spy cam for the heck of it: This is a marketing mission. The drone is fitted out with both camera and mistletoe. Couples captured kissing beneath it will receive gift certificates. Fridays told the Manchester Evening News that the airborne cams will "help people get a little closer at this time of year."
How American couples will feel about having their picture taken while sharing more than potato skins remains to be seen. So far, one writer has called the device the "Big Brother drone." Meanwhile, here's a pre-holiday peek at TGI Fridays.
— TGI Fridays (@TGIFridays) November 18, 2014
The restaurant chain has been promoting its new rib deal on its various social channels and seems to be having the most fun on Twitter, replying to random people tweeting about ribs (more people do this than you'd think) and suggesting they head to TGI Fridays.
Recent spots like the one above bring another casual dining joint to mind ("I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…"—it's Chili's if you haven't gotten it yet) and a TGI Fridays exec told the New York Post that the brand thinks of it as a "homage." Sure, whatever you say. At any rate, there's a bit of a rib war going on.
- The first TGI Fridays opened in New York City in 1965 on First Avenue and 63rd Street.
- TGI Fridays launched a new logo and rebranded some 53 locations in 2013.
- In 2011, the TGI Fridays parent company, Carlton Restaurants, announced a plan to expand its restaurant portfolio by 2015.