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First Watch lassos its biggest franchise deal

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  • | 4:08 p.m. January 14, 2015
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UNIVERSITY PARK — Fast-growing breakfast-brunch-lunch chain First Watch has signed the largest franchise agreement in its history, a deal for at least 15 restaurants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area over the next five years.

First Watch, according to a release, signed a franchise development agreement with Best Choice Restaurants LLC, a newly formed subsidiary of Sun Holdings, one of the largest franchise organizations in the country. Dallas-based Sun Holdings, founded in 1997, operates more than 400 multi-brand restaurants in multiple states and has nearly $450 million in annual revenues. Brands in the Sun Holdings portfolio include Burger King, Popeye's and Golden Corral.

The first restaurant under the agreement, the debut for University Park-based First Watch in Texas, is expected to open in late 2015.

“Dallas and Ft. Worth are full of diverse neighborhoods bursting with restaurants, music, sports and culture, and we're thrilled to bring First Watch's nationally recognized food to such a vibrant community,” First Watch president and CEO Ken Pendery says in the release. “Texas is uncharted territory for us, but we are eager to get to know the people of Dallas and share with them the fresh ingredients, healthy alternatives and welcoming atmosphere that First Watch offers.

Best Choice will be led by Sun Holdings President and CEO Guillermo Perales and its COO Luis Ibarguengoytia, according to the statement. Perales has been named four times to Latino Leaders Magazine's 101 Most Influential Latinos in the U.S. list.

“First Watch is a highly differentiated brand that represents the 'new guard' in the growing breakfast, brunch and lunch segment, and I saw an opportunity to be a significant player in its growth,” Perales says in the release. “I believe that First Watch will fill a substantial gap in the Dallas market with its fresh approach to breakfast, brunch and lunch and award-winning menu.”

First Watch is the largest daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S., with more than 120 restaurants in 17 states. It also operates 19 restaurants under The Good Egg name in Arizona and one Bread & Co. restaurant in Nashville.


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