How a Cincinnati Businessman Created McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich for His Catholic Customers During Lent

Lent and seafood go hand in fin.

And McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, a 54-year fixture, is one of the most popular menu items, especially on the Fridays leading up to Easter, a time when many Catholics forgo meat.

According to McDonald’s, the sandwich dates to 1962 when Lou Groen, who owned the first McDonald’s restaurant in Cincinnati, came up with the idea. Groen’s restaurant was in a predominantly Roman Catholic neighborhood, and he noticed a decrease in sales on Fridays.

In 1965, the Filet-O-Fish was the first addition to McDonald’s original menu and was the only non-hamburger option at the time.

“The Filet-O-Fish has become a popular menu item enjoyed by millions of customers around the world,” said McDonald’s Company Historian Mike Bullington in a 2016 blog post.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Kelly Tyko