February 17, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Oklahoma City, OK) First Watch, the Bradenton, Florida-based Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch chain, has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement with Dabbour Enterprises, LLC for Oklahoma City. The company has agreed to open three First Watch restaurants in the market over the coming years with the first location expected to open this summer.
Dabbour Enterprises President Ghassan Dabbour has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry most recently as a multi-unit franchise operator for IHOP. After having a great dining experience at a First Watch restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri back in Spring 2009, Dabbour decided that he wanted to invest in the First Watch concept. He also chose to sell his interest in five IHOP franchise locations.
"First Watch has set a high standard not seen in any other breakfast and lunch establishment and to me represents the future of the segment. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of its growth and success," said Dabbour. "First Watch's proven success over 26 years, its impressive management team, award-winning menu and customer-focused service philosophy will be a welcomed addition to Oklahoma City and my family and I look forward to welcoming guests to the restaurants."
First Watch delivers what customers want, with employees arriving at the crack of dawn, slicing fresh fruit and vegetables and whipping up homemade pancake and French toast batter. The creative menu includes traditional favorites like eggs, pancakes, soups, salads and sandwiches along with unique signature items including the Chickichanga (whipped eggs, spicy chicken, homemade chorizo sausage, green chilies, two cheeses, onion and avocado rolled in a crispy flour tortilla and topped with Vera Cruz sauce and sour cream) or healthy Power Wrap (fluffy egg whites, smoked turkey, spinach and mushrooms wrapped tightly in a sun-dried, tomato basil tortilla with Swiss cheese).
"We look forward to expanding our presence into Oklahoma City with a franchisee that has proven restaurant experience and a true passion for First Watch," said Ken Pendery, First Watch's president and CEO. "Oklahoma City has been one of our target markets and we're confident that Ghassan will be able to capitalize on this opportunity and develop the First Watch brand to its full potential in that area."
Each month, First Watch's 80 restaurants in 11 states serve breakfast, lunch and brunch to more than 835,000 customers. On Sundays, a single First Watch restaurant might serve 750 to 850 customers between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The average per person check is around $8.50.
First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing, privately owned, daytime-only restaurant chain in the United States. Of its 80 restaurants in 11 states, three are franchised and four are licensed and future growth is expected to come from key multi-unit, regional franchises to experienced restaurateurs in new markets in 35 states throughout the continental U.S. Approximately 10 locations are expected to open in 2010 and by the end of 2012, First Watch expects to grow to 110 restaurants, with about a dozen franchised locations open and more than 30 in various stages of development.