MASHED – Whether it was at a rest stop in the middle of a road trip, or in an effort to transport yourself to a simpler time, you’ve likely craved a Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s in the not-so-distant past.
And you may still be kicking yourself for indulging your taste buds, but there’s something about that fried fish smothered by a mound of tartar sauce that keeps us coming back for more.
But you may be surprised to learn that this deliciously guilty pleasure, has a very interesting history.
From its humble Ohio beginnings, the Filet-O-Fish has gone on to become a fast food phenomenon.
The simple fried fish patty sandwich with cheese and tartar sauce has been around longer than the Big Mac and is one of the biggest non-burger success stories in the history of the franchise.
“That Filet o Fish sandwich is the reason I don’t even eat at McDonald’s anymore. I ordered it and saw the manager grab one that was in the warmer to be served and pop [it] in the microwave and serve it to me.” – Reddit user, reported by Eat This, Not That!
Although the fish sandwich has held its own on the McDonald’s menu for over 50 years, there are still a lot of things about the Filet-O-Fish that you probably do not know.
The Filet-O-Fish was McDonald’s first non-meat sandwich addition to the menu. And while it has remained a popular menu item for over 50 years, it was created out of necessity by one desperate franchisee.
The groundbreaking idea to add a mouthwatering fried fish sandwich to the menu of a burger joint was first introduced by Cincinnati-area franchisee, Lou Groen, in 1961.
His Ohio restaurant was located in an area of the city where over two-thirds of the population were practicing Catholics and didn’t eat meat on Fridays.
As a result, Groen’s burger sales dropped dramatically on Friday nights, and he averaged only around $75 in profits. And for a man with a wife and young children at home, $75 was not going to cut it.
Groen realized he was losing most of his Friday business to another area franchise, Frisch’s Big Boy, which had a fish sandwich on the menu. Groen knew that he needed to act fact to be competitive and save his bleeding profit margin. Just like that, the Filet-O-Fish was born … READ MORE.