Chris Tomasso Named CEO of First Watch Restaurants

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Chris Tomasso Named CEO of First Watch Restaurants


First Watch Restaurants, Inc., the nationwide breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, announced that current president Chris Tomasso will take on the additional role and title of CEO, succeeding Ken Pendery, who will become executive chairman of the board. The move is effective immediately.

Chris Tamaso adds CEO to his title

“Back in 1984, I helped our founder John Sullivan open the second restaurant in San Mateo, Calif., and I officially joined the First Watch team in 1986. Our goals back then were simple: create a unique breakfast, brunch and lunch offering while providing for our families, play a little golf in the afternoons and create opportunities in our community,” said Pendery. “During the past 32 years, I have had the tremendous honor to work alongside some incredible people, and I am so proud of the company we have built.:

Prior to joining First Watch, Tomasso served as vp of marketing for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and also previously served as vp of worldwide marketing for Hard Rock Café International.

In Pendery’s new role as Executive Chairman, he will work as a liaison between First Watch’s management, board of directors and its private equity partner.

In late 2017, Advent International made a majority investment in the growing restaurant company. First Watch plans to open an additional 30 locations in 2018, through a combination of company-owned and franchise growth and restaurant conversions.