First Watch, even after several years of growth in several markets nationwide, has big plans for more expansion.
The east Manatee County-based daytime-only concept, with $288 million in revenue in 2017, plans to open at least 100 more "urban farm" concept restaurants by the end of 2019, according to Chain Store Age magazine. The company has more than 330 restaurants in 29 states, including about 260 First Watch restaurants and 70 eateries under The Egg & I brand.
Some 450 stores is nice. But the ultimate goal, First Watch director of real estate Matthew Livingston told a general session of attendees in late August at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ regional show in Orlando, according to CSA, is much bigger: 1,400 locations.
Several design iterations are being used to interpret the concept, which embraces the farm-to-table trend, the article states. That includes modern lines in interiors, natural wood and covered outdoor dining. The chain seeks freestanding units near upscale retail or end cap locations, around 3,500 square feet.
“We’ve made improvements in the quality and look of our food. Our goal is to have ‘Instagrammable’ food,” Livingston told attendees, according to the retail magazine. “So far, we’ve found that the concept appeals to both baby boomers and millennials.”