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May 4, 2011

(The Villages, FL)—First Watch, the Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant company based in Bradenton, Fla., will expand its presence in its home state with a new franchised restaurant in The Villages, Fla opening this summer. The new 4,000 sq. ft. restaurant will occupy space previously held by Blockbuster Video in the Spanish Plaines Shopping Center, which also includes a Publix and Walgreens and is across the street from The Villages Regional Hospital on Bella Cruz Drive.

First Watch at the Villages will be operated by FW Florida, Inc. as part of a multi-unit franchise agreement. The company has agreed to open five First Watch restaurants over the coming years throughout North Central Florida including Gainesville, Ocala and 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.

“As we expand nationally, we always keep our eye out for opportunities in Florida as well,” said Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer for First Watch. “We have a very loyal following throughout Florida and it’s exciting to bring our great concept to a new area like The Villages with a seasoned operator like Joe Cody.”

First Watch features traditional favorites like pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches as well as signature items such as the Chickichanga and Fresh Fruit Crepes. All of their 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.

The restaurant has been named “Best Brunch” by Florida Monthly Magazine and was included in the top companies in the Gulf Coast list by Gulf Coast Biz Review. First Watch has also received more than 20 breakfast and brunch awards in cities across Florida like Naples, Tampa, Orlando and Sarasota.

First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing, privately owned, daytime-only restaurant chain in the United States. Of its existing 86 restaurants in 11 states, five 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. First Watch recently announced new market franchise agreements for Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, north central Florida and Iowa. First Watch expects to grow to 115 restaurants by the end of 2012, with 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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