OSI Group Gazette Day

With 20,000 employees at sixty-five facilities in seventeen countries around the world, the OSI Group is one of the largest food providers in the world. The company is still growing and is evolving from it’s humble beginnings. OSI Group was started with the American immigrant experience. Otto Kolschowsky was part of a thriving German-immigrant community located in Chicago, Illinois. At this time German immigrants and people of German descent made up 25% of the cities population. In 1909 after two years of arriving in the United States, Otto Kolschowsky opened a small butcher shop on the west side of Chicago to serve his community. This can be viewed as when the first OSI Group location began. By the end of the World War 1 Kolschowsky expanded his food company and started dabbling in the wholesale side of business.

In 1955 Ray Kroc opened the first McDonalds restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. During that time, he was still a franchise agent for Richard and Maurice McDonald, who opened a family restaurant in 1940. Even though McDonald’s expanding into a franchise at the time was still only a concept, Ray Kroc made an agreement with Otto Kolschowsky’s sons Arthur and Harry, that they would be the franchise’s ground beef supplier. Within a few years time, the McDonalds corporation took off and would soon become one of the most recognized brands in the world. One of the main missions of the OSI Group throughout the years has to continue to provide customers with a consistent product.

The main product for McDonalds were its hamburgers. At first this was a difficult task, but then in the late 1960’s a revelation happened and a new technological breakthrough made it easier and more affordable to provide excellent customer service with consistency. Flash freezing, or the process of food processing which it is quickly frozen using liquid nitrogen, made the food industry have new opportunities for product expansion. In 1973 Otto Kolschowsky and his sons built their first plant dedicated to flash freezing process hamburger patties specifically for McDonalds. Otto and his sons soon changed their name from Otto & Sons to OSI. OSI Group is now one of the largest private companies in the United States.

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