MANATEE COUNTY — East Manatee County-based restaurant chain First Watch hired Jay Wolszczak as its first general counsel.
Wolszczak will be the chief legal officer and general counsel for the breakfast, brunch and lunch concept. According to a press release, he has decades of experience providing legal counsel and business management expertise on a global scale.
He will lead First Watch's legal interests in the area of real estate and construction; trademark; risk management; regulatory compliance; employment law; corporate finance; transactions; mergers and acquisitions; and other corporate functions.
Previously he was general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs for Hard Rock International Inc. in Orlando. He worked with the brand for more than 20 years. During his time there, it grew from 30 to 181 cafes and from one to 25 hotels and 11 casinos.
“It is imperative that as we continue to execute our aggressive growth strategy, we strengthen our foundation with experienced professionals who not only have a track record of success in the industry, but also whose values and approach to the business closely align with those of First Watch,” says First Watch President Chris Tomasso in a statement.
First Watch has more than 320 restaurants in 29 states.