Popular Daytime Café, First Watch, Announces Brand Expansion
Plans to Sell Multi-Unit Franchise Agreements in 35 States
BRADENTON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Investors exploring the restaurant industry will have a unique opportunity in the daytime café space now that First Watch, the Florida-based leader in the breakfast-brunch-and-lunch industry, announced Monday in conjunction with the International Franchise Association Convention in Orlando that it will sell key regional franchises in 35 states in 2008.
"We believe that First Watch represents a unique franchise opportunity," said Kenneth Pendery, CEO of First Watch Restaurants Inc. "The breakfast part of the day continues to experience tremendous growth, and, more than ever, consumers are seeking freshly prepared food, unique and bold flavors and healthier offerings. We've been able to develop a loyal following by offering those very things for nearly 25 years."
First Watch had sales of approximately $72 million in 2007 from existing restaurants and an impressive 24 consecutive years of same-store sales increases, Pendery said. The company opened 10 new company-owned restaurants last year in markets that included St. Louis, Cincinnati, suburban Baltimore, western Pennsylvania and central, southwest and southeast Florida.
Since its inception in 1983, First Watch has become one of the largest privately held daytime-only restaurants in the U.S., with restaurants in 11 states. During 2008 and beyond, the company will expand by opening successful franchise restaurants in both existing and new markets throughout the continental U.S.
Requirements of franchisees will include:
* Desire to be a part of a unique customer-service oriented brand;
* A minimum net worth of $2 million in liquid assets, with resources available to develop at least five restaurants in a territory;
* Payment of a $35,000 franchise fee per restaurant;
* Payment of a $17,500 development fee per restaurant that will be credited toward the franchise fee of additional restaurants as they open;
* Commitment of 4 percent of gross sales for ongoing royalty payments;
* Commitment of up to 3 percent of gross sales for a system fund, which promotes the First Watch brand on a systemwide basis; and
* A commitment to dedicate an additional 1 percent of gross sales to local marketing.
Potential investors can find more information at www.firstwatch.com/franchise/htm.
According to Pendery, part of the business appeal of purchasing a First Watch multi-unit franchise agreement is the extensive training and support program put in place for franchisees and investors behind the scenes. In addition to 10-week training courses conducted at certified First Watch training restaurants, the company also will work with each franchisee to determine the development area, potential market and number of restaurants, and then provide on-site support during each restaurant's pre-opening and opening.
"First Watch has been successful because we maintain a quality and consistent experience in all of our restaurants," said Pendery. "We view franchising as a way to strengthen our brand presence nationally."
About First Watch Restaurants Inc.
Founded in 1983 on the simple concept of putting customers first, First Watch Restaurants Inc. is now one of the largest, privately owned, daytime-only restaurant companies in the U.S. Headquartered in Bradenton, Fla., First Watch offers something for everyone from traditional breakfast, brunch and lunch favorites to its signature freshly prepared-to-order specialty items such as Crepeggs™ and the popular Chickichanga®. First Watch is the frequent recipient of "Best Of" accolades in cities where it operates. The company currently operates 78 restaurants in 11 states. Information: www.firstwatch.com.