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February 24, 2011

(Bradenton, FL)—With 29 restaurants already open in Florida, First Watch is well known in the state. The Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant company, which is based in Bradenton, Fla., is growing quickly in its home state and across the country.

First Watch will enter the Jacksonville market for the first time this year with two restaurants planned to open by the end of 2011. The first restaurant will be in Ponte Vedra at the South Beach Center at the intersection of JTB and A1A, and the second will open in Mandarin at the Riverplace Shopping Center located at the intersection of San Jose Blvd. and Claire Lane. First Watch hopes to open between four and six restaurants in the Jacksonville market over the next three years. These new Jacksonville locations will bring the number of First Watch restaurants in Florida to more than 30.

“We have seen great success in Florida and Jacksonville has always been an area of interest to us,” said Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer for First Watch. “This is a great opportunity for First Watch to expand throughout a state that is already familiar with the brand. We’re excited about bringing our concept to another city in Florida and we’re always looking for new markets to expand to within our home state.”

Despite the economic downturn, First Watch is aggressively expanding across the country with 10 to 15 restaurant openings planned for 2011, which is nearly 20 percent growth. First Watch has also seen success with their franchise program and is continuing to sell key multi-unit, regional franchises to experienced restaurateurs in new markets in 35 states throughout the continental U.S. With this success, First Watch—which already has restaurants in 11 states—is expanding into select new markets for the first time.

“We’re excited to debut the brand in new markets and with the help of new franchisees, we anticipate success in several,” Tomasso said. “A new franchised location just opened in Oklahoma City and we have already signed multi-unit agreements for Milwaukee and North Central Florida. This is just the beginning of our national growth plans.”

First Watch has received more than 200 “Best Of” accolades and features traditional favorites like pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches as well as signature items such as the Chickichanga and Fresh Fruit Crepes. All menu items are freshly prepared to order. First Watch delivers an excellent dining experience known for fast, friendly service. Each restaurant offers guests complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi Internet access.

Each month, First Watch’s 85 restaurants 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.
First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing, privately owned, daytime-only restaurant chain in the United States. Of its 85 restaurants in 11 states, four are franchised and four are licensed. By the end of 2012, First Watch expects to grow to 115 restaurants, with about a dozen franchised locations open and more than 30 in various stages of development. For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com

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