Lou Groen
Lou Groen.jpg
Lou Groen with his two master innovative product inventions, the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich, and the "Stop-Stick" device
Vital Information
Gender: Male
Born: (1917-08-08)August 8, 1917
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Died: May 30, 2011(2011-05-30) (aged 93)
Deathplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio, U.S.
Career information
Businessman, Entrepenuer, early McDonald's restaurant franchisee

Louis M. "Lou" Groen (born August 8, 1917 – died May 30, 2011) was an entrepenuer, and businessman of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was born and raised, and also a lifelong resident. Groen invented the Filet-O-Fish sandwich in 1962.[1][2] He invented the sandwich at his floundering McDonald's restaurant to satisfy his customers. At the time, most of his customers were Roman Catholic, who had to abstain from eating meat on Friday. His invention (the fish sandwich), served with cheese and tartar sauce, is now served at McDonald's restaurants throughout the world.


Early life and career

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Groen graduated from North College Hill High School there in 1935. At his peak, Groen owned 43 McDonald's restaurants in the Ohio and northern Kentucky region, eventually selling them back to the McDonald's corporation, including a longtime business partner Ed Cummings's brother and son. He held on to two, in Northgate and Tylersville, until his own son Paul took them over in 1994.[3]

Career with McDonald's 

A prominent McDonald's hamburger restaurant franchisee from 1959 to 1986, after he introduced his sandwich in 1962, McDonald's Corp. founder and CEO Ray Kroc was not exactly thrilled at the idea of a fish sandwich on his franchise menu. for he thought that he had a better idea, a "Hula" burger, which had simply a breaded, fried pineapple slice in between a toasted bun and a slice of cheese. Recalls Groen: "I told Ray (Kroc) about it (the idea of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich, and he said, “You’re always coming up here with a bunch of crap!” “I don’t want my stores stunk up with the smell of fish.” [4] after Groen, who engaged in a wager with Kroc on whose idea would sell better, he called the McDonald's headquarters to check on the results of Kroc's "Hula" burger idea compared to his. Groen recalls again: "I called in (McDonald's) and asked, "How many sandwiches did (Kroc) sell?" They (McDonald's Corp.) said “I can't tell you.” They asked “How many did you sell?” I said “350!” Then, they said “It's on the menu!” [5] By 1965, the Filet-O-Fish, ”the fish that catches people”, became a staple on the McDonald’s menu nationwide among other greats like the Big Mac and the Egg McMuffin.

The "Stop Stick"

In addition, at age 80, Groen, along with two other individuals entered into a new business venture called Stop Stick, Ltd., which is in the business of producing and selling devices which immobilize motor vehicles by causing their tires to become deflated.


Groen died peacefully of natural causes on May 30, 2011 in Cincinnati. [6]


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