Leading daytime dining restaurant brand plants deeper roots in the Sunshine State as it celebrates 35 years in the region
BRADENTON, Fla. – July 15, 2021 – First Watch, Manatee and Sarasota Counties’ award-winning hometown brunch concept, announced today that it has opened the doors to its new corporate headquarters in the University Town Center area. The newly constructed 39,000-square-foot standalone building is located just off Cooper Creek Boulevard behind the BJ’s shopping center at 8725 Pendery Place, a new street named for the company’s beloved Chairman Emeritus and former CEO, Kenneth L. Pendery, Jr.
“For decades, First Watch has had the distinct privilege and pleasure of calling the Suncoast our home. Ever since our founders made the decision to relocate from Pacific Grove, California, to sunny Sarasota, this vibrant beach community has not only welcomed us with open arms but embraced us as their go-to brunch destination,” said Chris Tomasso, First Watch President and CEO. “It is safe to say that we would not be the successful high-growth company we are today without having planted roots here and building our company behind the great people in this region, and we look forward to continuing to call Bradenton home for many, many more years to come.”
Built by Benderson Development, the new two-story office will serve as home base for approximately 100 employees who support First Watch’s national operations in critical functional areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, development and IT. To further expand on First Watch’s “You First” ethos, which places the individual needs of its customers and employees at the forefront of all the daytime café does, the new corporate headquarters features:
- A state-of-the-art fitness center featuring a Mirror gym system from lululemon, a Peloton, free weights and locker rooms with showers
- A high-tech training room and recreational area to support the First Watch Academy of Restaurant Management (FARM) which brings managers from across the country to the area for one week of immersive training
- A culinary suite for development of First Watch’s various seasonal menus, as well as core menu developments and innovations
- A “Mother’s Room” for nursing moms and Wellness Room that provides a quiet space with low lighting and comfortable reclining furniture for mental health breaks
- Several Huddle Rooms with comfortable seating to help team members across departments gather for meetings and breakout work sessions
- An employee café with second-story patio that overlooks a scenic lake
- Expansive windows that allow for ample natural light
- One-of-a-kind murals created by local artist Angela Delaplane
First Watch has led its operation out of Manatee and Sarasota Counties since the organization moved to Florida in 1986, when it opened its first Sunshine State restaurant in South Sarasota on South Tamiami Trail, which still serves the local community seven days a week. The company then opened its second local restaurant later that year in downtown Sarasota, which was also home to the original corporate office – a 250-square-foot back room with two desks that has since been transformed into a space for private meetings and food photoshoots. Today, First Watch operates 9 restaurants in Sarasota and Manatee Counties and has grown its national footprint to more than 420 restaurants across 29 states.
First Watch is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
About First Watch
First Watch is a high-growth daytime restaurant concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. A recipient of more than 300 local “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as pancakes, omelets, sandwiches and salads, alongside specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was recognized as FSR Magazine’s Best Menu in 2021 and Nation’s Restaurant News’ top Consumer Pick in the breakfast category as well as the coffee category for its Project Sunrise coffee program in 2019. There are more than 420 First Watch restaurants in 29 states, and the restaurant concept is majority owned by Advent International, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms. For more information, visit firstwatch.com.