State blows $13.6-million on Swadley’s “Foggy Bottom Kitchen”

Last week, The Frontier reported that the Stitt administration has blown through $13-million trying to establish a chain of Swadley's "Foggy Bottom Kitchen" restaurants at Oklahoma state parks.

The project's failure can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the state's decision to launch a chain of terribly-branded restaurants that serve average food and no hard booze at run-down state-owned facilities at the dawn of a global pandemic.

Via The Frontier:

Tourism officials hope a hot new restaurant chain serving ribeye steaks and burgers dressed with arugula can breathe new life into state parks, but the deal has cost Oklahoma millions of dollars.

Since 2020, the state has paid Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen, operated by Oklahoma City-based Swadley’s BAR-B-Q, more than $13.6 million. The restaurants have run millions of dollars over the original agreement on renovations at state parks. The state has also had to pay Swadley’s management fees and cover its sizable financial losses to operate...

Wow. Even with today's meat prices, $13.6 million is a lot of money to lose on a restaurant. What led to this costly decision?

The Tourism Department sought a commercial operator with “brand power” to update the image of food service at state parks, according to a request for proposals the agency put out in early 2020.

Yep, they wanted a restaurant "with brand power" to update the image of state parks... so they went with Swadley's "Foggy Bottom Kitchen." Hard believe that didn't work out, huh?

Actually, it isn't. Here are two reasons why...

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