fastfishheaderNo meat today please.

Does that mean you’ll be heading for Mickey D’s for a Filet O Fish sandwich? In my opinion that’s a Lenten penance for sure….

Did you know that the McDonald’s Filet O Fish sandwich was invented by a Catholic McDonald’s franchise owner because he recognized that sales dipped badly on Fridays in Lent?

Lou Groen, a resident of Cincinnati Ohio noticed that his fish shop was floundering, so he threw out the net and gathered a grouper people to discuss the problem. To get them in the mood he suggested they sing some tunas. They had a whale of a  time. A shrimp of a fellow turned out to be a terrific bass. After the musical session they went haring across to a conference room to debate the problem. They first had to decide the porpoise of their meeting. They had to find a fisherman who had a dock in a good plaice. Then they to source the fish, not knowing how to do that they asked a priest to pray that they might find the piece of cod that passes all understanding.

Sorry. Just trying to cheer you up on a Lenten Friday.

The real story is that Groen had a competition with Ray Kroc–founder of McDonald’s

After Groen 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.

Over at FOCUS they’ve done a consumer review on the different fast food fish sandwich offerings. Wendy’s comes out on top.

Go here to read their article