When the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in 1955 in Des Plains, Illinois, the hamburger specialist wanted to find the best meat on the market. The future global company was a small, family-owned hamburger restaurant with an ambitious manager who began working with a local butcher, Otto and Sons. The growth of McDonald’s coincided with a major period of expansion taking place at what has become OSI which is now one of the world’s leading meat suppliers to restaurants and retailers.
Much of the success of the OSI Group can be placed at the door of CEO Sheldon Lavin, who was given the opportunity to become involved with the company in 1970. The veteran investor was working in the banking industry when he was asked to broker a loan to help OSI expand and found himself asked to take an ownership stake in the meat manufacturer to ease the concerns of the bank providing the loan. Although he turned down the offer of an ownership stake, Sheldon Lavin did take on an advisory position with OSI which expanded over time to see him take up the role of CEO.
The development of both OSI and Sheldon Lavin can be placed firmly at the door of McDonald’s. In the late-1970s, further investment was being sought in the OSI Group and the management of McDonald’s wished to keep their long-time partner on board for a prolonged period of time. McDonald’s asked members of the OSI Group to find a full-time role for Sheldon Lavin in the company to ensure the success already achieved continued.
Both Lavin and OSI have paid back the faith shown in them by McDonald’s in terms of the success they have achieved. OSI is now a globally-recognized brand with a presence in 17 countries. Although Sheldon Lavin is now seen as a veteran investor, his belief in technology driving the food industry and OSI remains unshakeable as the company continues to grow.
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