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First Watch Raises the Bar on Employee Benefits

New programs contributed to the brand’s recent Best Places to Work recognition

BRADENTON, Fla. – May 30, 2018 – First Watch, the popular nationwide breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, has established itself as one of the more progressive companies in the restaurant industry as it relates to offering programs that express appreciation for its employees. First Watch has grown rapidly while achieving industry-leading performance, and the brand was recently recognized as one of Business Intelligence Group’s Best Places to Work. The company credits most of that success to its engaged, loyal and tenured employee base who enjoy the quality of life working at First Watch affords them due to its operating hours, truly employee-focused differentiation and culture of mutual respect.

In addition to its existing competitive health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance plans and its 401K retirement savings plan, First Watch also offers programs to assist its employees in the areas of personal and professional development, health and wellness, and job satisfaction and team building.

“For more than 30 years, First Watch has grown behind and alongside great people, and we recognize and appreciate the impact they have on the success of our business,” said Laura Sorensen, chief people officer for First Watch. “We believe that we have the obligation to provide the absolute best working environment and benefits possible. It in turn creates happy, engaged and loyal employees. It’s really as simple as making sure we show – not just tell – our employees how much we value their contributions.”

The new programs include:

Personal and Professional Development – Five unique educational benefits programs are offered to assist First Watch employees who are interested in further schooling but may be concerned about the financial burdens that typically come with a formal education.

  • High School Diploma Program – First Watch now offers all employees a second chance at a high school education by paying 100% of their tuitions to Career Online High School, where they are assigned a personal academic coach and can earn an accredited high school diploma, rather than a GED, using a computer or tablet.
  • Everyone Gets Graduate Support (EGGS) Program – First Watch offers a tuition reimbursement program for collegiate education, with each employee’s reimbursement amount depending on how long they are enrolled in the program. Reimbursements can add up to as much as $4,800 for the four-year program.
  • Argosy University Discount – All First Watch employees can now receive a 25% discount on all degree programs, on campus or online, through Argosy University, which offers a total of 35 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.
  • The Learning Experience Discount – First Watch values the importance of childhood education too, and recognizes the challenges that come with being a working parent. The company now offers a 10% discount on child care, along with waived extended care fees, at The Learning Experience, which operates about 200 child care centers in 20 states.
  • Virtual Learning Academy – The company’s new online learning system provides an opportunity for all restaurant employees to engage in enhanced training and professional development to help them advance their careers with First Watch.

Health and Wellness – The following new benefits help First Watch employees maintain the health and wellness of themselves and their immediate families.

  • Telemedicine – Eligible First Watch employees and their immediate families now have 24/7/365 access to a group of US Board Certified Internists, Family Physicians and Pediatricians who are available by phone or online to provide immediate medical guidance and write prescriptions, if necessary.
  • Fitness Incentive Program – Qualifying employees are eligible for a $35/month allowance to spend on fitness-related memberships, equipment, events and services.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – First Watch now offers an EAP, which provides no-cost, confidential solutions to life’s challenges for all First Watch employees and their immediate family members. The 24/7/365 support line offers resources and information including confidential emotional support, work-life solutions, legal guidance, financial resources and more.

Job Satisfaction and Team Building – With a focus on optimizing overall job satisfaction, First Watch strives to create an enjoyable work environment that fosters team building, collaboration and productivity.

  • Perks at Work – All First Watch employees are now eligible for Perks at Work, an online marketplace that offers more than 30,000 exclusive employee discounts and rewards, from school supplies to vehicle purchases.
  • Dog-Friendly Atmosphere – Home office employees are encouraged to bring their dogs to work during the week. Animals in the work place are known to foster a number of benefits, including improved office morale, lower stress levels, higher productivity, increased teamwork and a healthy work-life balance.
  • Weekly Lunch – Home office employees enjoy a catered lunch every week, providing an opportunity for members of different departments to enjoy each other’s company over a complimentary meal.

About First Watch

First Watch specializes in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, and unique specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was recognized as one of Business Intelligence Group’s Best Places to Work in 2018 and as one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2017 Second 100 restaurant brands. First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the United States with more than 330 restaurants in 29 states, including more than 250 First Watch restaurants, 75 The Egg & I restaurants and one Bread & Company restaurant in Nashville. For more information, visit firstwatch.com.

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