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, an online high school diploma program and an Argosy University discount. Eligible employees can also take advantage of health, dental, vision and our 401k retirement savings plan. Oh yeah, we love promoting from within, personal and professional development are a big focus at First Watch. 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

We’re stacking up restaurants
faster than pancakes!

We’re growing quickly, and so can you. With our bold expansion plan and the awesome people behind it, we’re opening nearly 50 restaurants every year! Those openings would not be possible without our people, who are constantly striving to better themselves and grow within our organization. At First Watch, we love to promote from within. Many of our multi-unit managers started with the company as dishwashers or bussers and have worked their way to the top. We love that!

We’re stacking up restaurants faster than pancakes!

Best Places To
Work Winner 2018!

Yeah, our employees already know it but now it’s official! First Watch was awarded the 2018 Business Intelligence Group Best Places to Work Award.

Best place to work 2018

The 2018 Best Places to Work identifies the organizations doing all they can to improve performance by challenging their employees in an environment that makes work fun and engaging. The Business Intelligence Group honors those companies who help their employees accelerate their careers, knowledge and performance. Come join our team and see what all the fuss is about!

In 2019,First Watch was a finalist for the Best Practices Award. The Best Practices Awards are awarded to a restaurant in each dining segment for outstanding performance in categories such as workforce diversity, community involvement and sustainable practices. Nominees must place in the top 10% of their segment in these categories.