First Watch is a breakfast, lunch and brunch restaurant concept founded in 1983 in Pacific Grove, Calif. The goal was to offer workers a better quality of life with no night shifts. In 1986, First Watch partner Ken Pendery moved the chain’s headquarters to Florida.
While owned by private-equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co., the company grew aggressively, acquiring The Egg & I chain in 2015 after it had already purchased The Good Egg, and Bread & Company, along with two J. Christopher’s locations. First Watch was acquired by the private-equity firm Advent International in 2017.
In 2020, the chain added cocktails to the menu for the first time.
Key Data: First Watch
Headquarters: Bradenton, Fla.
Segment: Midscale Dining
Restaurant segment: FSR Midscale
Number of U.S. locations: 377
2020 Sales: $403.4 million
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
CEO: Christopher Tomasso
Parent: Advent International