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OSI Group and McDonalds: From Humble Beginnings to Global Dominance


OSI Group has established itself as a formidable force when it comes to food supply in the world. OSI Group boasts of 20,000 employees in 65 facilities that are spread out in 17 countries. Their origin is deeply rooted from the immigrant experience.

The history of the firm dates back to 1909 when Kolschowsky opens a retail market with butcher shop at the side. The business faired on successfully and was rebranded into the Otto & Sons in 1928.

McDonald’s started off as a humble family restaurant back in the 1940. Upon opening its first McDonald’s restaurant, Ray Kroc had entered into an agreement with Otto & Sons as the sole suppliers of fresh ground beef.

Years later, Kroc bought out the entire firm and this saw him become the CEO of McDonalds. The firm entered into a sphere of modern franchise dominance with Otto & Sons riding along. OSI Group McDonalds started expanding its franchise of restaurants and the supply by Otto & Sons increased. This was a mutually beneficial agreement that saw the steady rise of both firms.

The main challenge posed by McDonalds was the supply of fresh, affordable and consistent supply to accommodate the different ranges of McDonalds restaurants opened.

The relationship between Otto & Sons and McDonalds was further cemented upon the discovery of the new technology in flash freezing. The new concept led to the expansion of the product in the industry.

OSI Group McDonalds were quick to make the Otto & Sons one of their fulltime suppliers in the food supply chain. In 1973, the Otto & Sons created the first plant that was solely responsible in meeting the OSI Group McDonalds product line situated in West Chicago, Illinois.

Later on, Otto & Sons would transcend into the OSI Group Corporation in 1975. The OSI group also reinvented its leadership style due to the transition. Sheldon Lavin was made partner in the firm. The firm continued in its exploits of meeting the manufacturing capabilities to go hand in hand with the growth of OSI Group McDonalds.

Sheldon Lavin’s experience led to the growth of the OSI Group as it diversified into the food supply industry. Both the OSI Group and McDonalds broke into the international market and still hold close ties to date.

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