It’s as terrifying a scenario as one could dream up: You’re abroad, in a country where you might not speak the same language, and your passport goes missing. Or your pockets get picked. Suddenly, you need to get to your national embassy as soon as possible, assuming you know where it is.
Luckily, if you’re a U.S. citizen and this happens to you in Austria, you can now turn to that gleaming bastion of American hospitality: the golden arches of McDonald’s. CBS News reports that as of this past weekend, employees at all of the chain’s locations throughout the country will receive training in how to connect travelers in need with the nearest U.S. embassy.
However, it’s important to note that the restaurants will not be U.S. territories themselves: “The fast-food company also made it clear that its Austrian restaurants would remain Austrian territory, unlike official U.S. embassies and consulates around the world which are U.S. territory under international law.” For anyone hoping to annex an Austrian McDonald’s as its own sovereign nation-state, we’re sorry to pop the bubble.
Over on our side of the Atlantic, you can find the Golden Arches everywhere, but they usually can’t set you up with another nation’s embassy. They’re busy dealing with all the food reductions and menu hackers and dead raccoons.