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When Ray Kroc met Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky in 1955, there were seven McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S., and not even a hint of the possibility of going global. Arthur and Harry were the principals in Otto and Sons, a successful local wholesaler of quality meat products in the greater Chicago area. Little did Kroc or the Kolshowsky’s realize that by 2018, McDonalds would be operating 36,000 restaurants in 110 countries, and Otto and Sons, re-branded as OSI Group, would be the 9th largest meat and poultry processors in the U.S. The OSI Group McDonalds partnership helped to shape two worldwide market leaders in the food industry.

According to OSI Group McDonalds relationship has been and still is pivotal to the development of both companies into the global juggernauts they are today. As McDonald’s grew and expanded its reach, Otto and Sons, soon to become OSI Group, continued to partner with Kroc as he assumed ownership of the rapidly growing leading food company. The OSI Group McDonalds pairing that started as a handshake agreement to provide ground beef for a local hamburger establishment grew into a friendship between like-minded entrepreneurs, culminating in the partnership we see today, that now spans continents.

How did they do it? OSI Group stayed on the cutting edge of the technology that allowed them to provide the consistent quality food that Kroc demanded. When you grab lunch at your local McDonald’s, or at a location while on vacation miles away, it is a given that your Quarter Pounder with cheese is going to taste the same that day as it did the last time and will again the next time. The OSI Group McDonalds partnership between local butcher and erstwhile entrepreneur is one of the main reasons you can rely on your culinary experience being exactly what you expect – every single time.Even though OSI Group is far removed from its humble beginnings, the guiding principles that led to such growth can apply to any size enterprise today. Relationships are still essential, along with mutual commitment to high quality brand and consistency. That blueprint for success that worked in 1955 is just as valid today.


OSI Food Solutions began as a small family owned butcher shop in Chicago. When it opened in 1909 in Oak Park the founder Otto Kolschowsky had no idea where his company would eventually expand to. Otto had a dream; as a German immigrant he just wanted to own his own business and support his family. The neighborhood was very welcoming and his butcher shop thrived. He expanded to nearby Maywood and renamed his business Otto & Sons. His new family business began the next phase of expansion when he met Ray Kroc in 1955. Ray was the first franchise owner for McDonald’s and entered a verbal agreement with Otto. Otto & Sons was to supply all of the meat for McDonald’s hamburgers.According to OSI Food Solutions ,Over the years it expanded to West Chicago and Aurora.

The plant advanced with technological advancements in food storage solutions. Eventually OSI expanded into other parts of North America and Europe. Throughout the years OSI Food Solutions has acquired many companies in the European market to give them a better customer base. They specialize in production of sauces, dressings, mayonnaise, side dishes and chicken meals. Baho Food was one of the European acquisitions that gave them firm footing in the European market. These easy to prepare meals are a staple in many people’s homes across the business world. OSI Food Solutions saw a much needed expansion need in their Toledo Spain location.

This expansion was able to more than double the amount of quality chicken product at that particular plant.The expansion of the plant also meant there was an expansion in the employment opportunities at that facility. Both general and management positions were available.OSI Food believes in providing quality service and quality products for their customers. They also strive to achieve top notch work environments for all of their employees. Recently they won the 2016 Globe of Honour by the British Safety Council. This is a prestigious award to win and they continue to strive to meet those standards every day at all of their facilities.

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The first McDonald’s restaurant was started in 1955. this Des Plaines, Illinois location was the first of many locations to come. At this time the franchising business model was still very new. The company needed a regional supplier of meat products. Located in Chicago, Illinois was a German immigrant’s family owned meat market business. The sons of the founder of the meat market made connection with McDonald’s. Together, OSI Group McDonald’s was formed and these partnerships allowed both businesses to boom.

OSI Group McDonalds began to grow outside of just having a regional partnership. They became a global force together. For the following two decades, both companies worked to establish relationships, the capital and facilities to grow and tap into new markets. McDonald’s wanted to make sure all franchises had the same burger. This is when OSI Group went to work to create an affordable, consistent meat that all franchises could have. OSI Group was able to transport meats to McDonald’s locations for over a long period of time.

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Globalization became a mission for OSI Group McDonalds. They both wanted to become international corporations. These corporations decided to spread their business operations throughout North America. South American became another market these two companies went after. Asia and Europe came next. OSI Group McDonalds was able to make acquisitions and increase their portfolios by buying up other companies. Though leadership has changed and operations have expanded, the core values of these two brands have never swayed away from the values that first got them started.

OSI Group McDonalds was birthed out of the spirt of innovation. Both separate businesses were started by hard working individuals who had a vision. This vision led to a classic food item that caused McDonald’s to become the powerhouse it is today. A consistent hamburger joined these two forces and put both of them on the map. McDonald’s is still in business today due to the hamburger patty created by a small family butcher shop. Today, OSI Group is a billion dollar brand that has been around for an entire century that continues to push forward in the world of food production.

Read more: David McDonald: From Iowa Farm to a Global Leadership Position

From humble beginnings to grand success is what OSI Food Solutions truly represent. This company has come a very long way over the course of 100 years, and it has even changed its name multiple times during its ascent to the top. From Otto & Sons to OSI Food Solutions. The company first started by being known as Otto & Sons, but it is often referred to as OSI Group or OSI Industries. You are looking at over a century’s worth of history and heritage right here. This dream came into fruition back in the early 1900s. The company offered tasty meats to the Midwest region of America.

As word began to spread, OSI started to take on more and more customers. This tiny company was the quintessential meat locker of the post economic era. From Oak Park to Maywood. OSI Food Solutions decided to go into food wholesale thanks to its success. Its butt was basically getting too big for its britches. Of course, this was the best direction for the company to go. During the 1960s, cryogenics played a huge role in boosting OSI’s capability.

The foods could now travel to farther distances without ever spoiling. Cryogenics is basically an innovative way of keeping foods refrigerated and fresh via flash-freeze technology. From Maywood to Aurora. OSI Food Solutions has reached its final destination by settling in the municipality of Aurora, Illinois. This is the base location as well as the control center. As time went on, OSI Food Solutions has been engaged in numerous acquisitions and mergers. Each acquisition and merger has allowed the company to grow and to expand its reach. As of today, this popular food provider serves people who reside on just about every continent that’s known to man.

There’s great, and then there’s everything else. The OSI Group knows exactly what’s it takes to be great, ranking as one of America’s Top 100 food companies and solutions. Starting in 1909, from humble beginnings as a local meat store, to claiming its destiny and forming an industry-changing relationship with a young, emerging McDonald’s franchise, serving as their primary meat supplier, to now being a multi-billion food company; the OSI Group has developed into a mega-franchise food company that services food vendors worldwide.

Why are they so successful you might ask? Of course hard work, dedication and a commitment to excellence, but to be more specific, here are the top 3 reasons why the OSI Group is America’s top 100 Food companies.

  1. High Quality Products and Standards

The OSI Group is known for offering the best products from the best suppliers in the food industry. Offering the best products means having high standards, something the OSI Group is also known for. OSI is about providing the best products, which means that their sources and vennders are constantly challenged to meet OSI’s top-shelf expectations. Having the highest of quality standards, safety procedures and an environmentally-conscious approach, have helped OSI revolutionize the meat processing field. These standards are met in every 65 OSI Food Solutions facility, which are located in 17 counties around the world.

  1. OSI Food Solutions

Aside from being the world leader in providing exceptional food products,

The OSI Group is highly innovative and flexible with their operations in every OSI Food Solutions facility. Here are a few highlights of how OSI operates:

-OSI can process meats, fruits and vegetables, as well as other proteins such as pizza, bread and breaded snacks; whether raw, fully cooked, baked, fried, fresh or frozen.

-OSI can grind and form meats for pre-ordered shapes and designs. Also capable of providing many packaging food options for retailers and restaurants such as single portion packs or bulk packs.

-OSI also provides vacuum packaging. The OSI staff is highly responsive and proactive in providing solutions that suite whatever the clients’ packaging needs are.

-Most recently, the OSI facility in Spain, OSI Food Solutions Spain, doubled their chicken processing capacity, from 12,000 tons to 24,000 tons a year.

-Each OSI Food Solutions facility have state-of-the-art equipment that’s not only powerful, but also energy efficient.

  1. Still Continuing To Expand

The OSI Group remains a leader in the food products industry because of how they continue to expand. They recently acquired Flagship Europe, BAHO Foods and a Tyson Food Plant located in the south side area of Chicago. The latest Tyson Foods acquisition has OSI very excited about the future, as they feel that their meat processing and food packaging production will greatly increase, as well as have a positive impact on the surrounding community and Chicago area.

These acquisitions not only help the OSI Group expand, they also allow for OSI to offer more opportunities for employment and better careers. Currently, OSI already employs 200,000 people worldwide.

For more than a 100 years, OSI has consistently worked towards being the best in the food industry, by putting the customer first and accepting the challenge of providing high-quality food products with innovation and a firm commitment to excellence.