Swiss Inn celebrates 50 years of serving shakes and burgers

LDR photo/Kelly Morgan/File photo
The Swiss Inn restaurant, located at 356 North Jefferson Ave., (top) looks very similar to when it opened 50 years ago as a Mr. Swiss (above). However, the restaurant’s owners changed its name after the Mr. Swiss franchise went bankrupt in the late 70s.


In many ways, Lebanon’s Swiss Inn is exactly like it was five decades ago, and according to the owners, that’s not a bad thing.


The restaurant’s philosophy of good food, good service, and reasonable prices continues to serve the children and grandchildren of its original customers.

“I just try to keep the same thing because we have people that eat here every day or every other day,” Swiss Inn co-owner Lonnie Strutton stated. “They’re just used to having everything tasting the same and having the same products. So I just kept everything just the same. It’s worked for like 50 years.”
The Swiss Inn is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and according to co-owner Judy Strutton, many of the restaurant’s customers have been eating there for years and bring their children and grandchildren.
“Our workers know almost all of our customers,” Judy Strutton said. “A lot of (customers) are repeat customers. Sometimes we can write their orders down before they even get in the building.”


The Swiss Inn originally opened 50 years ago as a Mr. Swiss. Lonnie Strutton estimates that the Mr. Swiss franchise once had 400 or 500 stores nationwide, including four in Springfield. However, the franchise went bankrupt in the late 70s, leaving the Lebanon location on its own. The Struttons changed the name of the restaurant to Swiss Inn in 1978 after being told that they would be sued if they continued using the Mr. Swiss name.
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The Laclede County Record

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