OSI Food Solutions: From a Retail Butchery to a Multi-Nation Food Provider

OSI Food Solutions has 65 of its facilities spread over 17 different countries. It began as a retail meat business by a German immigrant, by the name Otto Kolschowsky. The company served the community well, and after the first world war, it had expanded its business to a wholesale and retail food supplier. After the war, a business alliance which seemingly was between two families was formed. Ray Kroc had just earned the right to franchise for the McDonalds couple and was to open a chain of burger restaurants in Illinois. He agreed with the sons of Otto Kolschowsky to be the constant suppliers of the franchise. This was before he bought out the business from the couple and opened up the original McDonald’s. He became the CEO of the current McDonald’s.

As the company grew and expanded its operations to different regions the OSI Food Solutions, then known as Otto and Sons, also grew in response to accommodate the demand from McDonald’s. Otto & Sons were the principal suppliers of fresh ground meat to the swiftly expanding McDonald’s restaurants. Over the years, Otto & Sons changed its name to OSI Group, to effectively be a reflection of what the company dealt in, as they expanded to meet the demand from their customers. This was a challenge as McDonald’s needed constant supply of quality meat products to their widespread facilities. This meant that they had to come up with ways of ensuring that the meat remained fresh as it was transported, and still have an affordable price for their product.

The meat supplier finally experienced a breakthrough when liquid nitrogen methods could be used to flash freeze food. They now had two tracks; one was to serve their biggest customer, the McDonald’s and the other was to supply the locals consistently. Lavin, the CEO of OSI Food Solutions, led the company as it broke into the international space. Experts who could successfully contribute to the company were employed. As McDonald’s grew, so did OSI Food Solutions. The company satisfactorily catered for its customers’ needs and ventured into different areas of the food industry. The growth is evident to date. In 2016, it was ranked number 58 of the biggest private companies in the US.

Read more: https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/sustainability-vision-sheldon-lavin-ceo-osi-group

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