If you’re an American traveling abroad and your passport gets swiped, you need only to look for those golden arches flashing above the Vienna skyline. American tourists will soon be able to get more than a Big Mac at McDonald’s in Austria.
In an odd and deeply American turn of events, the U.S. State Department has struck a deal with McDonald’s in Austria to help U.S. citizens in need. The embassy has unveiled a new program where Americans “in distress” or those whose passports have been lost or stolen can find help (and french fries) from any of Austria’s 194 McDonald’s locations. Staff at the fast-food chain has special access to a 24-hour hotline to the U.S. embassy, meaning that Americans in need can get in touch with the embassy and pick up a Big Mac while they wait.
The U.S. Embassy in Vienna said the partnership was just another way to ensure that American citizens had every option available to get in touch when in need, which they said was the number one duty of every embassy around the world, per the BBC.
The partnership was the brainchild of U.S. ambassador Trevor Traina, a tech entrepreneur turned diplomat. He was born into the Dow Chemical family, reportedly started trading stocks in fifth grade, and sold his first company, the online shopping service CompareNet, to Microsoft in 1999, according to SFGate.
A McDonald’s spokesperson told The Independent that McDonald’s was selected because of the brand’s “great fame” among Americans.
Hopefully, the policy will extend to Taco Bell and Burger King, so vegans can have options while reporting their stolen passports, too.