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Video: First Watch’s new store design balances to-go culture and in-store dining needs

First Watch president and CEO Chris Tomasso talks the evolution of the brand from new tech-centric store prototypes to the rollout of a national alcohol program


University Park, Fla.-based casual-dining breakfast/brunch chain First Watch is — like many other restaurants in a post-COVID world — rethinking its store formats. But whereas quick-service restaurants are leaning almost entirely into convenience technology, First Watch, as a full-service chain, is looking to balance digital demands with designs that encourage customers to sit and stay for a while.

“The approach we took was, ‘how can we accommodate the growing off premise business but maintain the integrity of the dining experience — which is really what we're about, you know, we're about the environment, the food, the hospitality, the service?’” CEO Chris Tomasso said. “We're really trying to bifurcate those two experiences within one box and one prototype.”

The new First Watch stores have both a dedicated entrance and cookline to meet off-premises demand, as well as renovated outdoor dining spaces and new indoor/outdoor bars to go with First Watch’s new and growing alcohol program.

To learn more about First Watch’s new store designs and their evolving brand, check out the video here.  

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