Here’s an interesting nugget from the annals of McDonald’s about how the Filet-O-Fish made it into the menu – and became a global bestseller. In 1962, McDonald’s franchisee Lou Groen from Cincinnati, Ohio, noticed that people ate less meat on Fridays in observance of Lent.
That led to a discussion with McDonald’s to test something new, something that didn’t contain meat.
McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and Lou Groen decided that they would sell Hula burger (a slice of grilled pineapple and cheese on a bun) and Lou’s breaded whitefish sandwich called Filet-O-Fish on a Friday. It was decided that depending on the sale, the particular item would be added to the permanent menu.
Kroc was so optimistic about his Hula burger that he took a bet with his first grillman, Fred Turner that the Hula would outsell the Fish. It didn’t turn out to be Kroc’s day though. The result was a whopping 350-6 in favour of Filet-O-Fish. Thus came about the scrumptious fish burger as the first addition to McDonald’s original menu in 1965. Having been a constant on the McDonald’s menu for the longest time, Filet-O-Fish is arguably the most popular burger.
In 2001, McDonald’s took a significant step towards protecting long-term fish supplies. Through its Global Sustainable Fisheries Program, it encouraged fish purchases from sustainable fisheries to protect marine ecosystems from damage. As a result, all the fisheries from which McDonald’s obtains white fish are from sustainable sources that are verified at a global level.