OSI Group: The Company You Should Think of When You Think of Wendy’s or McDonalds

A lot of effort goes into preparing meats for fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and Wendy’s and the company that has done an excellent job minimizing health and safety risks to these foods is OSI Group. OSI Group is based in Chicago, IL and they own thousands of meat processing plants across the world. They not only sell the burgers and chicken that fast food restaurants use, they also sell a lot of frozen meats and entrees to supermarkets and other dealers. They market and distribute much of their products through subsidiary companies, though the subsidiaries function more like partners.

OSI Group was originally known as Otto & Sons because of the company founder, Otto Kolschowsky’s vision for it. Kolschowsky immigrated to Chicago in the early 20th century and opened a butcher shop in 1909. His family ran one of the highest quality meat stores in the area and soon it became a major production plant. As the years went on, the Kolschowsky family started building and acquiring more processing centers, and in the 1950s McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc offered Otto & Sons a partnership to be the restaurant’s primary meat supplier. In the 1980s Sheldon Lavin joined the company and was later made CEO, and Otto & Sons changed their name to OSI Group after growing their international presence.

OSI Group has evolved over the years in the way it mass distributes and operates, but many employees that have started with the company stay with it because of the family culture that OSI Group espouses. OSI Group has been involved with non-profit organizations in the food service and social activist areas, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This organization sponsors medical treatments for chronically ill children and scholarships for low income families. OSI Group also received the British Safety Council’s Globe of Honour in 2015.