Otto and Sons was a small family business that began in Oak Park, Illinois as a meat market. Otto Kolschowsky developed his business over the years and gained a reputation for providing a great product. He was able to expand his business model and become a major distributor of meat to other local food industries in the area. Otto and Sons caught the eye of Ray Kroc in the mid-1950s. Ray Kroc was the leader of the fast growing McDonald’s enterprise.
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McDonald’s was opening restaurants in Des Plaines Illinois. Ray Kroc quickly chose Otto and Sons as its meat supplier for the area. OSI Group developed several innovative business strategies that allowed it to rise in favor with the McDonald’s CEO. They embraced cryogenic food processing very early. This allowed them to maintain a large stock of product and preserve its freshness. Freezing tunnels are a method of storing the meat in a safe and orderly manner. Otto and Sons also introduced the patty cutting machine. The cutting machine made it possible to deliver the meat to McDonald’s exactly the way it was needed. Ray Kroc eventually made Otto and Sons one of its four main meat suppliers. As the restaurant chain continued to grow, so did Otto and Sons. They became McDonald’s exclusive supplier of meat.
Otto and Sons changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975. It opened a fully operational meat plant in West Chicago. The plant provides the capabilities for OSI to expand their services to other businesses in need of meat distribution. The company currently supplies products such as meat patties, bacon, pizza, pork and hot dogs. Their clients include Subway, Starbucks, Papa John’s Pizza and Pizza Hut.