March 24, 2010 // Franchising.com // Bradenton, FL --- First Watch, the Bradenton, Florida-based Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch chain, has signed a multi-unitfranchise agreement with FW Florida, Inc. The company has agreed to open five First Watch restaurants over the coming years throughout North Central Florida including Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages and its principals also secured Development Rights for First Watch Restaurants in Iowa. The first location is expected to open this summer in The Villages.
FW Florida, Inc. President Joe Cody has more than 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry and currently is a multi-unit, multi-brand franchise operator for Arby's, Qdoba, Old Chicago Pasta & Pizza, Erbert & Gerbert's and Taco John's. Cody was also one of the original franchisees for TGI Friday's.
"After experiencing first-hand the award-winning menu and customer-focused service philosophy at First Watch, I knew it would be a great concept to add to my portfolio of restaurants," said Cody. "I look forward to building the First Watch brand throughout the North Central Florida region and eventually to new territory in Iowa."
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).
"Joe Cody has an excellent reputation in the industry as a savvy and successful restaurant operator. We were very impressed with him and his team and their understanding and passion for the First Watch brand and believe that they will be an excellent partner to help us grow First Watch." said Ken Pendery, First Watch's president and CEO. "We receive many requests from customers to bring First Watch to Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages and we are confident that Joe will be able to capitalize on this demand and develop the First Watch brand to its full potential in the region."
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.