Swiss Chalet

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For the architectural style, see Swiss chalet style.
Swiss Chalet
Type Subsidiary
Industry Food service
Founded Toronto, Ontario (1954)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Key people Todd Barclay, Edgar Alvarez, Steven Greene, Michael Farley, Abhik Banerji
Products Canadian cuisine
Parent Cara Operations
Website swisschalet.ca

Swiss Chalet is a Canadian chain of casual dining restaurants founded in 1954 in Toronto. As of 2008, there are over 200 Swiss Chalet restaurants in Canada. Swiss Chalet is among the holdings of Cara Operations, which also owns the fast food chain Harvey's. Swiss Chalet and Harvey's franchises frequently share locations. Swiss Chalet claims that its signature rotisserie chicken is based on a Swiss recipe.[citation needed]

Swiss Chalet franchises include a variety of points of sale. Swiss Chalet locations generally include a dining room, a take-out counter, and delivery. Some feature drive-thru windows while other locations in certain urban areas are only take-out counters and are more akin to fast food restaurants. The brand also has an online food ordering system. Cara Operations retails Signature Swiss Chalet sauce, gravy, and marinades (as powdered mixes) in Canadian supermarkets.

The first Swiss Chalet restaurant, at 234 Bloor Street West in Toronto, operated for 52 years. The building featured exposed-beam ceilings in the Swiss chalet style. This store closed in 2006 and was demolished in 2009 as part of a condominium development.

Take-out version of the Quarter Chicken dinner

The restaurant features a menu that is centered around its signature item, rotisserie chicken. The Quarter Chicken Dinner, the restaurant's signature dish, includes a roasted chicken leg or breast with "Chalet Sauce", a bread roll, and a side dish of choice. Other combinations up to and including a whole chicken are also available.

Although chicken dishes make up the majority of the chain's menu (including other dishes like chicken soups, salads, pastas and sandwiches), the menu also features a handful of non-chicken items including pork ribs, fish and chips, burgers, and desserts.

During the Christmas season, Swiss Chalet features a second version of their quarter and full-chicken dinners: the "Festive Special". In addition to the normal meal, the Festive Special adds stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a five-pack of Lindt chocolate truffles. The truffles debuted in 2000, replacing a 100g Toblerone bar.[1]

A Swiss Chalet restaurant in Markham.

For the French-speaking Quebec market, Cara Operations re-branded Swiss Chalet to Chalet Suisse, but later ceded to the market dominance of competing restaurant chains St-Hubert and Scores. Swiss Chalet recently returned to Saskatchewan with a location in south Regina.

In 2008, Air Canada added Swiss Chalet food products to its buy-on-board menu.[2]

Advertising slogans[edit]

Swiss Chalet's first advertisement (mid-1950s) promotes the original restaurant on Bloor Street in Toronto.
  • 1980s-1999: "Always so good for so little."
  • 1999-2003: "Life should taste as good as Swiss Chalet."
  • 2004: "Food you can feel good about."
  • 2005-2008: "Family happens at Swiss Chalet."
  • June 2009 – present: "Always so good for so little."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adnews article
  2. ^ "Onboard Café." Air Canada. Accessed November 4, 2008.

External links[edit]