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Lou Groen
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Restaurateur
    (August 8, 1917-May 30, 2011)
    Born in Cincinnati, Ohio
    McDonald’s franchisee
    Owned 43 McDonald’s restaurants in Ohio and northern Kentucky at his peak
    Created the Filet-O-Fish sandwich (1962)
    He came up with the idea for the Filet-O-Fish because his first McDonald’s was located in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood, resulting in sales plummeting each Friday.
    McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc initially objected, saying ‘I don’t want my stores stunk up with the smell of fish.’
    The fish in the Filet-O-Fish has changed from Atlantic cod to Alaskan Pollock to New Zealand hoki back to Pollock due to difficulties in maintaining sustainable fisheries.
    Kroc’s idea for luring Catholics on meatless Fridays was the Hula Burger: grilled pineapple and cheese on a bun.
    Kroc and Groen agreed to a competition: they would each sell their sandwich on a Friday and the better seller would be added to the menu.
    The Filet-O-Fish won handily with 350 sandwiches sold. (Kroc refused to provide a number for how many Hula Burgers sold.)
    The Filet-O-Fish was the first non-burger sandwich added to the McDonald’s menu.

Credit: C. Fishel


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