Why First Watch?

So, Why First Watch?

At First Watch, we are in the people business. We live by an important standard called You First, which means we understand the value of ensuring all our team members are fulfilled, satisfied and appreciated at work. We believe that if you’re treated right and love what you do, that will be reflected in the quality of work you produce and the way you positively impact the people around you.


First Watch opened as a new daytime café in 1983 – a first-of-its-kind restaurant serving breakfast, brunch and lunch only. The idea was that we would focus on daytime dining, work to perfect it, without trying to moonlight as a dinner place. That’s right… For our staff, that meant no night shifts. Ever. They could leave work in time to pick up the kids from school, play a round of golf, get homework done, or simply enjoy the afternoon. That philosophy still exists in our restaurants today!

We’ve worked hard to build a reputation for quality, fresh food and warm, friendly welcomes. We like to think that we operate one really great neighborhood café… which just happens to have hundreds of locations. Each day, we put our employees first and strive to make them happy. They are empowered with an independence to make decisions that will help provide an exceptional breakfast, brunch or lunch experience for their customers. When our teams take pride in their work, they pay it forward to their fellow team members and our valued customers, providing an enjoyable experience for everyone who walks through our doors. It’s all about the people.

A Commitment to

Even though we operate hundreds of First Watch restaurants across the country, we like to think of ourselves as your local hometown spot. Why? At First Watch, we make a huge effort to be involved in our local schools and athletic clubs, as well as with local nonprofits. We understand that without the support of our great communities, we wouldn’t be able to operate so many successful restaurants, so it’s only natural that we give back when we have the chance!

We also love getting involved in some higher level partnerships, like our national relationship with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The folks over at Share Our Strength believe that no kid in America should go hungry, and we agree. All children, regardless of the family’s ability to pay, deserve access to nutritious meals, which is why we donate a portion of every kids meal sold in our restaurants to the cause. No Kid Hungry starts with breakfast, and change starts with us.

Most recently, we introduced our new philanthropic coffee program called Project Sunrise. This new quality coffee is made from beans grown in the Huila region of Colombia, where a group of female farmers called Mujeres en Café (women in coffee) work tirelessly to produce the highest quality coffee they know how. Many of these women have lost their husbands, brothers and sons in the country’s decade’s long civil conflict. First Watch pays a premium for their product, which they reinvest in their farms and communities.

Benefits Better
Than Bacon


By now, you've probably gotten a feel for our "You First" philosophy, referring to the importance of putting people first. When it comes to our employees that means offering the support they need, when they need it. All employees enjoy restaurant meal discounts, savings programs outside the restaurant, an employee assistance program, discounts on local childcare and a number of educational benefits, including our tuition reimbursement program and high school diploma program. Eligible employees can also take advantage of health, dental, vision, pet protection insurance benefits and our 401k retirement savings plan. And of course, there's the benefit of NO NIGHT SHIFTS.EVER. Not having to work nights allows our employees time to spend with their families and friends. They can be home for dinner every night - while it may be hard to put a price tag on that, it's surely a benefit that's better than bacon!

Grow With Us

First Watch is an award-winning Daytime Dining concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. A recipient of hundreds of local "Best Breakfast" and "Best Brunch" accolades, First Watch's award winning chef-driven menu includes elevated executions of classic favorites for breakfast, lunch and brunch along with First Watch-specific specialties such as our protein-packed Quinoa Power Bowl(r), Farmstand Breakfast Tacos, Avocado Toast, Morning Meditation (juiced in-house daily), our Vodka Kale Tonic, Chickichangas and our famous Million Dollar Bacon.

In 2021, First Watch was recognized as FSR Magazine's Best Menu and as the fastest-growing full-service restaurant company based on unit growth. There are more than 425 First Watch restaurants in 28 states, and the restaurant concept is publicly traded on the Nasdaq and majority owned by Advent International, one of the world's largest private-equity firms.

We have built our brand on our commitment to operational excellence, our "You First" culture and our culinary mission centered around a fresh, innovative menu that is continuously evolving. We know that our success would not be possible without our people! And with growth of the company, comes growth in your career. Many of our multi-unit managers started with the company as dishwashers or bussers and have worked their way to the top. We love to promote from within!

We’re stacking up restaurants faster than pancakes!

Our Award-Winning

2018:  "Best Places to Work" Winner-Black Intelligence Group

2019:  "Best People Practices" Finalist-Black Box Intelligence Group

2020:  "Best People Practices" Finalist-Black Box Intelligence Group

2020:  "America's Favorite Restaurant Brand" Winner-Market Force Information

Best place to work 2018