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Manatee County restaurant giant buys back six franchise locations

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 11:00 a.m. November 14, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
There are more than 500 First Watch locations spread over nearly 30 states.
There are more than 500 First Watch locations spread over nearly 30 states.
Courtesy image
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Daytime dining pioneer First Watch Restaurant Group has acquired six previously franchise-owned restaurants in the Florida Panhandle. 

The acquisition was funded with cash on hand, according to a statement from the east Manatee County-based company. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome our newest teams in the Florida Panhandle to the First Watch company-owned system,” First Watch CEO and President Chris Tomasso says in the release. “These franchise partners have served the community from Destin to Tallahassee for more than a decade, and we are thankful for their dedication and help in a successful transition.”

The company, as part of its long-term growth strategy, says in 2023 it has brought 23 restaurants previously owned by franchise partners back into the First Watch fold. 

First Watch has more than 500 First Watch restaurants in 29 states, and the restaurant concept is majority owned by private equity firm Advent International. It had $730.16 million in revenue in 2022. 



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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