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First Watch Named to Newsweek’s Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces® for Second Consecutive Year

BRADENTON, Fla., Sept. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Watch, the leading Daytime Dining concept serving breakfast, brunch and lunch with 500 restaurants nationwide, has been named a Top 100 Most Loved Workplace by Newsweek and the Best Practice Institute (BPI) for the second year in a row. As the only restaurant to make Newsweek’s list, First Watch was recognized by its more than 12,000 employees for championing a “You First” culture and quality of life that remain unparalleled in the restaurant industry.

The results were determined after surveying more than 2 million employees from businesses with workforces varying in size from 50 to more than 100,000. Newsweek’s list recognizes companies that have created a workplace where employees are at the heart of the business and feel respected, inspired and appreciated.

“Within our restaurants and in the communities we serve, our teams create an occasion that makes people feel good, and is centered around great food, friendly service and, above all else, kindness,” said Laura Sorensen, Chief People Officer at First Watch. “They continuously bring out the best in our business and each other, and for this and all the heart they’ve put in our culture for the last four decades, I’m honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder alongside them in this moment – because truly, it’s theirs to celebrate.”

For 40 years, First Watch has fostered a culture centered upon putting its employees first, so they, in turn, feel empowered to put their customers first. As a part of this “You First” culture, First Watch operates on one-shift a day using a “No Nights Ever” approach, allowing its teams to build deeper connections with each other and enjoy evenings with their family or friends.

As another reflection of its culture and investment in its people, First Watch prioritizes offering resources to help its employees navigate all aspects of their lives. In 2023, the brand began offering an annual membership to Calm and telemedicine services with no out-of-pocket expenses to all its 12,000 employees, both wellness benefits that have been traditionally out of reach for hourly teams in the industry. For years, First Watch has also encouraged team members to explore career possibilities through its free High School Diploma Program, Everyone Gets Graduate Support (EGGS) tuition reimbursement program and First Watch Academy of Restaurant Management (F.A.R.M.).

Many of these programs were inspired by the concept’s W.H.Y. – We Hear You – Tours. On this six-week virtual tour, First Watch senior leaders host conversations with servers, cooks, dishwashers and bussers from every geographic operating region across the company to listen and act upon their feedback, including challenges and aspirations. As a result, tangible and meaningful enhancements are made to the menu, operating systems and employee compensation and benefit offerings, which lead to a better quality of life for team members. Three tours have been conducted since 2021, with another planned for 2024.

In 2022, First Watch made its debut on Newsweek’s Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces list and also received ADP’s coveted Culture at Work Award for its sustained employee engagement and dynamic, best-in-class workplace culture.

For more information about First Watch and its career opportunities, visit

About First Watch
First Watch is an award-winning Daytime Dining concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. A recipient of hundreds of local “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch’s chef-driven menu includes elevated executions of classic favorites along with specialties such as the protein-packed Quinoa Power Bowl®, Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos, Avocado Toast, Chickichanga, Morning Meditation (juiced in-house daily) and its signature Million Dollar Bacon. In 2023, First Watch was named the top restaurant brand in Yelp’s inaugural list of the 50 most loved brands in the U.S and recognized as a Customer Experience All-Star by Forbes. In 2022, First Watch was awarded a sought-after MenuMasters honor by Nation’s Restaurant News for its seasonal Braised Short Rib Omelet, recognized with ADP’s coveted Culture at Work Award and named a Most Loved Workplace® in Newsweek by the Best Practice Institute. There are 500 First Watch restaurants in 29 states, and the restaurant concept is majority owned by Advent International, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms. For more information, visit

About Newsweek
Newsweek is the modern global digital news organization built around the iconic, over 85-year-old American magazine. Newsweek reaches 100 million people each month with its thought-provoking news, opinion, images, graphics, and video delivered across a dozen print and digital platforms. Headquartered in New York City, Newsweek also publishes international editions in EMEA and Asia.

About Best Practice Institute
Best Practice Institute is an award-winning leadership and organization development center, benchmark research company, think tank, and solutions provider. BPI is the certifying body for Most Loved Workplace® and conducted the original research to create the model and criteria for becoming a Most Loved Workplace®. BPI’s research proves that Most Loved Workplaces® produce 3-4 times better customer service, employee performance, and retention than companies not loved by their employees.

For more information on how to apply to become a certified Most Loved Workplace in 2024, go to:

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