First Watch

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About the Company

First Watch Restaurant Group is a Daytime Dining restaurant concept offering freshly prepared breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes – from traditional favorites such as pancakes, omelets, and sandwiches to specialty items like the Quinoa Power Bowl, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. We employ 10,000 people across more than 430 locations in 28 states. Our culture is based on “you first,” the idea that empowering and giving employees what they need to succeed will positively influence their ability to provide our customers with a delightful, engaging, and memorable restaurant experience.

Our Certifications

See what we've been awarded.

2022

Certified Company
Certified Company
2022

2021

This company has not yet been certified in this year
Company Headquarters

Headquarters location:

8725 Pendery Place; Suite 201
Bradenton, FL 34201
941.907.9800
www.firstwatch.com

Company Headquarters

Industry:

Restaurants

Company Headquarters

Company CEO's name:

Christopher Tomasso

Company Headquarters

Number of employees:

1001 - 10000

Life in our company

See What It Is Like to Work Here

Why First Watch IS A MOST LOVED WORKPLACE®

Systemic Collaboration

EMPLOYEES COLLABORATE THROUGHOUT OUR COMPANY BY …

using a web-based application to determine engagement and overall happiness. The 5-question survey asks employees to share what they both loved / loathed about the previous week opening thoughtful dialogue around good change.
Our Learning Management System offers custom First Watch coursework for training & compliance. The LMS acts as a social platform for employees to share ideas or post achievements.
We hold weekly team meetings and complete quarterly check-ins with managers to underscore the importance of operational excellence.
Our annual leadership conference allows managers to learn about companywide initiatives and to celebrate success.

Positive Vision of the Future

EMPLOYEES AT OUR COMPANY HAVE A POSITIVE VISION FOR THE FUTURE BECAUSE …

We start at the individual level, to make employees feel good about the company, their role, and themselves. We put our employees first and strive to make them feel fulfilled, supported, and appreciated. We use “veto responsibility”, where any employee can send food back if it’s not made to their standards. We believe that empowered employees pay it forward through exceptional service and a happier team environment.
Our “you first” culture was evident during Covid when we temporarily furloughed over 9,000 employees. Upon reopening, 100% of our directors returned, and 75% of employees with three+ years of service returned.

Company Respect

WE SHOW RESPECT AND ENSURE THAT ALL VOICES ARE HEARD AND IDEAS ARE VALUED THROUGHOUT THE COMPANY BY …

Our virtual We Hear You (W.H.Y.) Tour. The live webinar connects our senior leadership team with employees from across all divisions of First Watch and is an opportunity to enhance the workplace environment for our team members, to listen to important feedback, and to create thoughtful dialogue on a variety of topics. Questions are asked around overall sentiment, training, leadership, the menu, appreciation, diversity, comp/benefits, technology, culture, communication & opportunity for advancement. W.H.Y. Tour feedback has resulted in new technology, pet insurance, new menu items, employee recognition budgets and a monthly newsletter to celebrate achievements on a national scale.

Company Support / Killer Outcomes

WE SUPPORT OUR EMPLOYEES IN ACHIEVING THEIR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL GOALS BY …

creating a home for limitless growth. A First Watch core value is to “create an environment that fosters personal/professional growth”. We’ve built career progression plans for every position.
The First Watch Academy of Restaurant Management (F.A.R.M.) at our home office hosts 350+ managers for a week of leadership development. Training content is uploaded to a brand-new Chromebook. We immerse them in our culture, challenge them with interactive sessions – and give a rousing send-off with a home-office attended graduation ceremony.
We offer a fully funded Career Online High School diploma program, tuition reimbursement and discounts to college degrees and professional certifications.

Alignment of Values

OUR COMPANY’S VALUES ARE ALIGNED WITH OUR EMPLOYEES BECAUSE …

We are kind. Kindness infuses everything we do. It informs our Five Steps of Service and is a foundation of our You First ideology.
We roll up our sleeves and consistently challenge ourselves to be better and we work hard with positivity, resilience, and grit daily.
We stand shoulder to shoulder – and are one team that faces challenges and celebrates successes, together.
We follow the sun from day to day, dish to dish – authenticity is the beacon that guides our sourcing, our food, our relationships, and our growth.

Company Practices / Love

PROGRAMS AND PRACTICES WE GIVE TO OUR EMPLOYEES THAT CREATE A LOVED WORKPLACE ARE …

#BeABetterHuman company-wide initiative. Our goal is to enhance our culture by focusing on mutual respect and acceptance of others and to increase the representation and advancement of under-represented communities. After the murder of George Floyd, we established The R.I.S.E. Advisory Council made up of 10 black leaders who inform on our diversity initiatives. We offer scholarships to HBCUs, require annual Unconscious Bias Training, and offer webinars on race, diversity, and inclusion. We also established The RISING 20 Mentor Program (annual) which accelerates the advancement of 20 high-potential employees through senior leadership mentoring (mentors include our CEO, CFO, CPO, and other VPs).

CEO Strengths

OUR CEO SERVES AS A MODEL OF OUR COMPANY VALUES BY …

celebrating the work our teams do with a weekly system-wide email installment of “Five Star Friday” during which he recognizes one team that went above and beyond that week. He hand-writes thank you letters to employees when they celebrate milestone work anniversaries, thanking them for their service. He rewarded our managers with unsolicited bonuses for their dedication and perseverance during a challenging staffing environment. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when employees were furloughed, he called to check on their inactive employee’s health, financial stability and to update them on the state of our recovery.

Benefits

EXAMPLES OF UNIQUE BENEFITS, BONUS, OR COMPENSATION WE PROVIDE ARE …

• Unlimited PTO for Directors and above
• Monthly, Quarterly and Annual Restaurant Bonus Program for General Managers and above
• Free High School Diploma Program + Tuition Reimbursement
• 24/7 Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
• Health, Dental, and Vision Plans, plus Life and Disability Insurance
• You First Fund (see below)
• Fitness Allowance for equipment or access to a gym
• The Learning Experience discounts on childcare
• Total Pet Plan discounts on pet care and medications
• Perks at Work: 30,000+ discounts on travel, electronics, auto, and more
• Pre-friendly Home Office
• Supplemental Insurance: Accident, Critical Illness, + Indemnity Plan
• 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan

Our response to COVID-19

Free telemedicine and continued healthcare benefits for furloughed employees and we covered 100% out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, and deductibles for Covid related medical visits.
“You First” emergency assistance fund generated approx. $850K in tax-free grants to employees.
Post furlough, managers received a bonus to assist with costs incurred during the pandemic. We invested million+ dollars to pay managers the difference in their salary versus what they received in unemployment; plus another $700k in return bonuses for 3+ year employees.
Each employee completes a daily Zedic Wellness Survey; staffed by nurses who advise us on the prevention of viruses or foodborne illness.