First Watch’s growth momentum defies restaurant struggles


While much of the rest of the restaurant industry continues to struggle with food inflation and labor costs, breakfast chain First Watch recorded significant performance momentum with both same-store sales and double-digit revenue growth for the second quarter ended June 26.

First Watch reported same-store sales growth of 13.4% on the back of traffic growth of 8.1% and the opening of nine restaurants in seven states. The Florida-based breakfast chain has posted impressive results since the company went public last fall, unlike most of its industry colleagues. The restaurant industry as a whole has felt inflationary pressures, and most restaurants have suffered several price increases alongside a 4.8% drop in same-store sales traffic, on average, according to data from June from BlackBox Intelligence.

“Our second quarter performance reaffirms that First Watch is one of the most consistent and successful concepts in the restaurant industry,” Chris Tomasso, CEO and President of First Watch, said in a statement. “We have once again achieved impressive results, with a 20.0% increase in sales system-wide.”

The quarter was marked by new seasonal innovations on the menu, including crab benedict benedict and a chorizo ​​breakfast sandwich in the spring and barbacoa cakes and blueberry muffins for the summer.

“Looking to the future, we intend to continue to generate profitable growth while investing more in the development of our new restaurant and in our staff,” Tomasso said in a statement.

Total revenue for the quarter increased 19.8% to $184.5 million from $154.0 million in the same quarter last year. First Watch reported net income of $2.7 million, or $0.05 per diluted share for the quarter, down from net income of $3.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share in the same quarter of the previous year, mainly due to external federal economic factors.

As of June 26, First Watch had 449 restaurants (350 company-owned and 99 franchise-owned) in 28 states, systemwide.

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