Growing Up OSI

In 1909, a meat processing company called Otto & Sons was established by Otto Kolschowsky, an immigrant from Germany. In 1955, Otto & Sons became the primary meat supplier for McDonalds when they opened their first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. The popular fast food chain would become Otto & Sons primary business for several years. The company would grow into one of the largest U.S. suppliers for fast food restaurants and in 1975, they changed their name to OSI Group. Today OSI supplies to various fast food chains around the world, such as KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks to name a few.

Today, OSI holds a regular spot on the list of Forbes 100 Largest American Companies, but it would not have gotten there without the aid of current CEO & Chairman, Sheldon Lavin. His journey with OSI began in 1970 and he had full control by 2000. In the same year that the company had changed its name, Lavin joined partnership with the two Kolschowsky sons that had inherited the company from their father. With the financial genius in tow, the company had expanded not only through North America and Europe but also began expanding in few Asian countries like Taiwan. By the 1980’s, China, Japan, South Africa and even Brazil were now benefiting from the large meat supply company. OSI Group, LLC does not supply just hamburger meat but hot dogs, pizza, and even vegetables. This is why it is so successful.

In 2016, the company was found to have a total revenue of $6.1 billion and ranked as the fifty-eighth largest company in America. Its increased revenue could be due in large part to their recent acquiring of Baho Foods, a convenience food and snack food distributor. Although, Sheldon Lavin is now eighty-five, he has continued goals to keep expanding OSI through Europe and Asia. His ultimate goal is to have OSI become the largest, most successful food supply company. They now offer all breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, desserts, and snacks. There is no shortage of what they can provide.

Next time you are enjoying a Big Mac or an extra large supreme from Papa John’s, you can thank Otto Kolschowsky and his successful relationship with McDonalds CEO Ray Kroc. Kroc’s faith and trust in Otto & Sons helped make the now OSI Group the success it is today.

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