A McDonald's sign outside a restaurant
The McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Almost Didn't Exist Because Of The Smell
By Christine Barba
McDonald’s franchise owner Lou Groen first came up with the Filet-O-Fish when he noticed that business was hurting on Fridays in the heavily-Catholic Cincinnati, as Catholics couldn’t eat meat then. However, there were initial concerns over the smell of Filet-O-Fish.
Ray Kroc, then McDonald's CEO, recalled his response in his memoir, “We are not going to stink up our restaurants with any of your damned fish.” After voicing his concerns, Kroc proposed that the sandwich would battle his creation, the “Hula Burger,” a toasted sandwich with two pieces of cheese and grilled pineapple. 
In 1962, the battle began on Good Friday, ending with 350 customers purchasing Lou Groen's fish sandwich, while just six customers ordered the Hula Burger. The Filet-O-Fish not only made Groen’s first McDonald's franchise a success, but he opened 43 McDonald's in Cincinnati, eventually having 3,000 employees and yearly sales of $60 million.