OSI Group is a leader in cost-effective food service solutions from processing and handling meats, to including other foods in their packages. The company originated from and is headquartered in Chicago but has grown into an international food wholesale chain serving 40 different countries. OSI Group’s inventory includes a diversity of customized packaged foods and raw shipments of beef, pork, poultry and fish meats from sandwiches and burgers, to Mexican specialties, pizzas, nuggets, meatballs and other entrees. OSI Group supplies their meats to fast food restaurants like their largest client, McDonald’s but they’ve also supplied them to Pizza Hut and Wendy’s. They’ve been a leader in food taste quality thanks to the teams of food scientists employed at their processing center labs, and adherence to some of the top safety production standards.
OSI Group has a long history in food service dating back to 1909 when they were just a family butcher shop started by Chicago native Otto Kolschowsky. The butcher shop was grown into a large meat market center by 1928 known as Otto & Sons and in the 1950s its potential for growth became very apparent when McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc asked the Kolschowsky’s company to become the new restaurant’s meat supplier. As McDonald’s grew, Otto & Sons knew they needed to follow suit and in order to open up more processing plants, they needed someone who could help them get financing from the big banks to do it. The person who helped them open their first large-scale plant was Sheldon Lavin who continued to serve as consultant to the company until the mid-1970s when he was nominated for CEO, the position he still holds today. The company was also renamed from Otto & Sons to OSI Groug, an acronym for Otto & Sons going international. OSI’s overseas services began in Germany in 1978, and their latest addition has been at GenOSI in the Philippines.
Not only is OSI Group known for producing top-quality meats, they also are known for a family kind of culture that’s different than most corporations. Lavin and OSI President David McDonald have said that they have an open door to employees and are often around them in the plants to see how the environment is being run. When they made the buyout of Flagship Europe, Baho Food and a south Chicago Tyson Foods plant, they offered every employee the chance to keep their jobs. OSI Group also has supported Chicago communities and other cities through organizations helping needy families including the Ronald McDonald House Charities.