OSI Group has a long and rich history, being established all the way back in the early 20th century, in 1909 by German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky. The small Chicago-based venture started as a butcher shop and retail meat market, and after 109 years of operation is considered to be among the largest food providers on the planet.
What started as a small neighborhood business is currently a global enterprise, having a total of 65 facilities in 17 countries, and approximately 20,000 employees. The company continues to evolve even a century later, expanding and growing its business.
One pivotal moment in the history of OSI Group is the partnership made with McDonalds, which resulted in the OSI Group McDonalds agreement. In 1955. Ray Kroc opened the doors to the first McDonalds restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. He was working as a franchise agent for a couple in California, who in 1940 opened a family restaurant. The restaurant in Des Plaines was a step made towards the expansion of the brand. Kroc eventually bought the franchise from Richard and Maurice McDonald and was the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation.
Before the original McDonald’s restaurant started its business, Kroc made an agreement with OSI Group to become the first supplier of fresh ground beef for the franchise. The OSI Group McDonalds agreement turned out to be beneficial for both parties. As McDonald’s gained in popularity, so did OSI Industries, supplying meat for a number of regional McDonald’s restaurants.
McDonald’s became one of the most recognizable brands in the world, which meant that the OSI Group McDonalds link resulted in good business for OSI. The company was responsible for providing a consistent and affordable product which can be transported over long distances to the growing number of McDonald’s restaurants. The technological breakthrough that happened in the late 1960s made their work easier, with the introduction of cryogenic food processing. This tightened the relationship between the company and McDonald’s.
By 1973, the company built their first plant that was dedicated to McDonald’s product line. The state of the art facility was located in West Chicago, and included advanced technology necessary for flash freezing hamburger patties. Undoubtedly, the OSI Group McDonalds agreement made with Ray Kroc was a massive break for OSI and helped turn it into the global entity that it is today.
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