|Founded||Mankato, Minnesota, U.S. (1963)|
|Headquarters||Mankato, Minnesota, U.S.|
The first Happy Chef Restaurant opened in 1963 in Mankato, Minnesota, and still operates today as the only location. At one time, the chain had 57 restaurants in the midwest. However, consumer tastes shifted in the 1980s towards restaurants offering alcohol and multiple televisions, leaving a single restaurant in operation as of 2015.
Another concept operated by Happy Chef was Ruttles 50s Bar & Grill Restaurants.
- Krohn, Tim (February 9, 2018). "New Happy Chef owner looking at changes — and giving the chef statue his voice back". The Mankato Free Press. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Walsh, Paul (July 24, 2015). "First Happy Chef restaurant, the last still in business, is up for sale in Mankato". The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
- Krohn, Tim (December 15, 2014). "The original 'happy chef' honored". The Mankato Free Press. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Profile of the original Happy Chef restaurant and its founder - first published in the Mankato Free Press, Mankato, Minnesota, 2005-11-01.
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