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First Watch pushes lunch sales with $6.89 deal

In a move to increase lunch traffic, First Watch, a daytime-only restaurant chain, is launching a “2 for You” weekday deal that allows customers to choose two items from a menu of half-portions of sandwiches, salads and soups.

The $6.89 deal, available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is being offered at 78 company-owned restaurants.

Chris Tomasso, First Watch chief marketing officer, said the breakfast-and-lunch-only concept conducted 12 months to 18 months of consumer research that found the brand’s customers sought customization options for sandwiches, salads and soups at an attractive price point.

The 2 for You deal has tested well and has emerged as the casual dining chain’s number one lunch item, Tomasso said.

First Watch, which is based in Bradenton, Fla., already offered a half-sandwich and soup selection, and “we took that program we had for 15 years and expanded it,” Tomasso said.

The First Watch sandwiches included in the 2 for You special are the Reuben, Monterey Club, Al B. Core Tuna, Cheese to the 5th Degree with Ham, Grilled Turkey and Beefeater.

The salads offered are the House, No. 5, Health Nut, Cobb, Pecan Dijon and Santa Fe. And First Watch’s house Tomato Basil soup and the soup of the day also are available.

First Watch has been generating sales as a breakfast destination, but the half-portion mix-and-match deal was designed to be part of the company’s strategy of “looking for a way to drive incremental traffic for lunch,” Tomasso said.

The promotion has been running for about a month and the company plans to analyze its impact on traffic and sales soon, Tomasso said. “The feedback from customers, servers and managers has been nothing but positive,” he said.

First Watch is a privately-owned restaurant chain with about 90 locations in 12 states, five of which are franchised and four are licensed. By the end of 2012, First Watch expects to grow to 115 restaurants, with about a dozen franchised locations.

Contact Alan Snel at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Alansnelnrn

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