Industry observers consider the OSI Group McDonalds saga a business story for the ages. Call it a joint venture, a symbiotic relationship or a legendary partnership — the fact remains that the cooperation and amazing synergy between these two American brands makes for a casebook study of successful mutual benefit and cooperation.
It all began in 1955 when a man by the name of Ray Kroc was about to launch the first ever franchise model of his new fast food concept restaurant, McDonald’s, in Des Plaines, Illinois. Mr. Kroc arranged a meeting with a Chicago area meat supplier of sterling reputation, a company then known as Otto & Sons.
Otto was Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant who founded a one-man-operation meat shop in 1909. By 1928 it had become Otto & Sons when his sons Harry and Arthur Kolschowsky became a part of the family business. Harry and Arthur made a handshake agreement with Ray Kroc to supply all the beef patties for his new restaurant concept — and the OSI Group McDonalds legend was born.
Otto & Sons became OSI Group in the 1970s after growing along with McDonald’s for two decades of phenomenal expansion. As the McDonald’s model caught fire across America, OSI Group came along for the ride. The exacting methods and superior quality control of how hamburgers tasted was the key to the successful relationship. McDonald’s was keen on establishing a highly uniform taste and texture for its burgers with specific fat to beef ratio content — and OSI could be counted on to get it right 100% of the time.
It’s almost as if OSI Group McDonalds was a singular company. OSI, however, has grown into an international brand that stands alone with its own reputation for being among the finest meat processing companies in the world. It’s customer base extends well beyond McDonald’s into multiple sectors of the food economy. That includes 70 facilities in 17 countries today.
So while OSI Group McDonalds will always seem like fused terms or mutual identities. Both companies retain their own unique brand identities, but don’t mind touting their amazing decades-long relationship.
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