How a Catholic Won a Wager and Invented the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

by -
Roslyn, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One of the longest-running and most successful sandwiches at McDonald’s is the Filet-O-Fish. But it wasn’t always on the menu. It was created by an entrepreneurial Catholic who had a big problem and won a legendary wager.

The story goes back to 1962. Lou Groen had opened up the first McDonald’s franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio, but wasn’t able to make a profit. He quickly pieced together why: His restaurant was located in a Catholic neighborhood (Groen himself was also Catholic), Catholics didn’t eat meat on Fridays (all year round, at the time), and McDonald’s only served entrées with meat.

He quickly got to work on a solution. He created a special batter, made his own tarter sauce, and put it together into a new kind of fish sandwich.

But since he was franchising, he couldn’t start selling it on his own. So he took his new creation to McDonald’s headquarters and showed it to Ray Kroc, the CEO of the company.

Kroc wasn’t sold on Groen’s sandwich right away. Part of the reason was that Kroc had been working on his own meatless sandwich: it was like a normal burger but had a slice of pineapple instead of meat, and he called it the Hula Burger.

Kroc made Groen a wager: they would make Groen’s fish sandwich and Kroc’s Hula Burger available for one Friday at one location, and whichever one sold more would be added to the national menu.

“Friday came and the word came out. I won hands down,” Groen later recalled. “I sold 350 fish sandwiches that day. Ray never did tell me how his sandwich did.”

And the rest is history: Groen’s fish sandwich was added to the national menu as the Filet-O-Fish and has been there ever since.

“My fish sandwich was the first addition ever to McDonald’s original menu,” Groen explained. “It saved my franchise.”

And, boy, did his operation grow after that! When Groen finally sold his franchise 24 years later, he had grown his business to 43 McDonald’s restaurants.

[See also: Your Comprehensive Guide to Ash Wednesday Ashes]

[See also: Everything You Need to Know About Lent Explained in 60 Seconds]

Comments

comments

22 COMMENTS

  1. I think other website proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  2. Nice blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  3. I am curious to understand which website system you are working with? I’m experiencing some small safety problems with our latest site regarding Arvind Pandit so I’d like to find one thing much more risk-free. Have you got any suggestions?

  4. Hello there! This is my very first reply on your site so I just wanted to say a fast hello and say I really enjoy reading through your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs that cover wireless intercom phone? I am also highly keen on that thing! Thanks!

  5. The heart of your writing whilst appearing reasonable at first, did not really work very well with me after some time. Somewhere throughout the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer unfortunately only for a very short while. I nevertheless have a problem with your leaps in logic and one might do nicely to fill in all those breaks. If you actually can accomplish that, I would certainly end up being fascinated.

  6. Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

  7. Hello there, you are definitely correct. I constantly go through your posts closely. I am likewise fascinated by personal lawyer, perhaps you could write about this from time to time. I’ll be back soon!

  8. It’s really a nice and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  9. hi!,I love your writing very so much! share we communicate more approximately your article on AOL? I need a specialist on this house to resolve my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.

Leave a Reply