Business Ventures · Food Business

OSI Group And McDonalds: A Success Story

A powerhouse, global partnership in 2018 began with a handshake deal back in the 1950’s. At that time, two small, basically unknown businesses joined forces. One was Otto, Arthur, and Harry Kolschowsky of Otto and Sons, a locally successful, family-owned Chicago butcher shop, and the other was Ray Kroc, who went on to open the first McDonalds restaurant. It was the beginning of OSI Group McDonalds.

The handshake represented an agreement for Otto and Sons to be the fresh meat supplier for Kroc’s new Illinois restaurant, which opened in 1955. McDonalds experienced rapid success, and became a franchise, with a growing number of regional restaurants. During the expansion, Otto and Sons continued their role as a meat supplier, and meeting the demand became their primary job.

Ray Kroc understood that a lot of McDonalds success was based on delivering a consistent product to consumers. Since McDonald’s best known and loved product was hamburgers, it was essential to Kroc to maintain their consistency by sticking with one of his main suppliers, Otto and Sons. Therefore, over the next two decades as McDonald’s continued rapid expansion, McDonalds and Otto and Sons faced the challenge of providing customers with fresh meat hamburgers in an affordable manner.

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Fortunately, a process known as flash freezing was discovered in the 1960’s, making the task of transporting meat for long distances easier and more affordable. At this point, both companies were on the fast track to success. Otto and Sons became one of four core suppliers, and in the 70’s began to build plants solely for production of McDonalds products.

Otto and Sons became OSI Group in 1975, with OSI Group McDonalds going strong. Around this time, Sheldon Lavin joined as a partner, eventually becoming chairman and CEO. During the 70’s and 80’s, OSI facilities expanded into various states. Soon, McDonalds began international expansion, and OSI followed with global production. Since that time, OSI Group McDonalds have experienced enormous global success.

Today, OSI is one of the largest United States companies, and is one of the main food providers in the world. Chances are that during that handshake deal so long ago, neither Otto Kolschowsky nor Ray Kroc could have anticipated the monumental results of OSI Group McDonalds.

Visit osigroup.com for more details about OSI Group McDonalds.