Cara Restaurant Swiss Chalet is a Canadian staple that generations across the country have enjoyed for decades. The franchise is now operated by Recipe Unlimited, which was formerly Cara Operations. They are headquartered in Vaughan, ON even though the CEO according to LinkedIn is actually based in Florida, USA. The company is an umbrella for many of our favorite eating places and has been a leader in some of our environmental initiatives that have been implemented here at home.
Unable to find any specific reasons why this Cara restaurant is closing, I have to assume one thing. That the growing foodie culture in the west and the pandemic has had an unfortunate impact on the success of one of our favorites in BC, Swiss Chalet, after years of tradition, is scheduled to close the remainder of its BC locations on December 27, 2021. Many patrons including myself will miss what we consider one of the best chicken and rib places in the lower mainland.
Founded in 1954, this establishment has been enjoyed from coast to coast. They were even in the USA until 2011 when the remaining American restaurant located in Puerto Rico closed. The western restaurants continued to serve Canadians with an unfortunate slow decline. Alberta has been able to keep a number of locations in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer. Manitoba has one location left in Brandon. There is also a takeout location in Regina, SK. Air Canada even started serving Swiss Chalet on their flights in 2008.
In the east, Ontario enjoys a very strong presence with over 170 locations which is 140 more than the rest of Canada combined. This is of course fitting since the first Swiss Chalet was opened in Toronto, ON. It appears that Ontarians still love it. Even though the founder was from Montreal, there are no locations in Quebec. Quebecor’s seem to prefer Montreal born St-Hubert’s which was eventually acquired in 2016 by Cara Operations, owner of Swiss Chalet.
Following are the other locations in Canada:
- Alberta 9 Restaurants
- Nova Scotia 10 Restaurants
- New Brunswick 5 Restaurants
- Newfoundland/ Labrador 4 Restaurants
- Manitoba 1 Restaurant
- Prince Edward Island 1 Restaurant
This family restaurant is somewhat limited for vegetarians or vegans though because most everything on the menu contains meat. There are salads available and sandwiches but the variety is mostly reserved for the chicken lovers. It is something that some of us had taken for granted as the shock came over when we learned of their closure in BC. “Sad” is what I say to the news.