First Watch Restaurants Opens 100th Restaurant

“Daytime Café” reaches milestone with opening of restaurant in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Bradenton, FL  (RestaurantNews.com)  Award-winning Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch concept First Watch Restaurants reached a major milestone yesterday with the opening of its 100th restaurant.

The restaurant, located at 11160 Panama City Beach Parkway, is the first restaurant for the company in the Florida Panhandle and is owned and operated by Brad and Keith Dermond, owners of Sunrise Foods, LLC, as part of a multi-unit franchise agreement to open at least three restaurants throughout Panama City, Destin and Fort Walton Beach over the next three years.

“It goes without saying that we couldn’t have reached this important milestone without our dedicated employees, loyal customers and committed franchisees,” said Ken Pendery, chief executive officer for First Watch.

First Watch is in the midst of an aggressive growth strategy. In just the past year alone, First Watch opened nine restaurants – three of which opened in October – and plans to open at least one more restaurant before the year is over.

First Watch expects to grow to 115 restaurants by the end of 2013 through opening a mix of company-owned and franchised locations and strategic acquisitions. Last week, First Watch announced that it had acquired the two company-owned J. Christopher’s restaurants in Atlanta and plans to convert them to First Watch restaurants over the next few months. Currently, there are 13 franchised or licensed locations open with many more in various stages of development. First Watch is the leader in the Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch segment and offers a compelling business opportunity that makes it attractive to experienced, successful restaurant operators.

First Watch Restaurants Opens 100th Restaurant

“We have seen tremendous growth in the past few years and expect that growth to accelerate as we work alongside existing and new franchisees and seek strategic acquisition opportunities to grow the brand in new and current markets,” said Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer for First Watch.

In July, First Watch was rated the No. 1 family restaurant chain in the U.S. by readers of Consumer Reports as part of their survey of full-service chain restaurants – adding to its growing list of more than 200 “Best Of” accolades in markets across the country. The company is the fastest-growing breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, and its menu features traditional favorites including pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches, as well as signature specialties such as the Chickichanga®, Healthy Turkey Omelet™ and Fresh Fruit Crepes.

Next month, First Watch will relocate its corporate headquarters to a new, larger space to meet its future expansion plans. The new headquarters is 3,000 square feet larger than the current location, providing space for more corporate employees and a training room with space to host up to 50 franchisees. The company plans to add between 10 and 15 corporate employees over the next several years.

For First Watch franchise information, visit http://www.firstwatch.com/franchise-overview.htm.

About First Watch

First Watch has specialized in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch for nearly 30 years. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, to unique specialty items like the fan-favorite Chickichanga® and Fresh Fruit Crepes. It is currently the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with 100 restaurants in 14 states and additional units under development as part of the Bradenton, Fla.-based company’s aggressive growth strategy.  For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.

First Watch Restaurants Opens 100th Restaurant

Media Contact:
Christina Morton
Fry Hammond Barr
407-284-6655