Bradenton-based First Watch headquarters relocating for expansion

MANATEE -- First Watch, a breakfast-lunch restaurant chain headquartered in Bradenton, is expanding into a larger space on University Parkway in South Manatee.

First Watch headquarters will move from 7,500-square-feet of space on Town Center Parkway to a 10,500-square-foot space in the Benderson Development corporate office park.

The move is planned for November.

"To meet our future expansion plans, we are relocating our corporate headquarters to a larger space," said Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer for First Watch. "First Watch has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, opening restaurants in new

and current markets, and we expect that growth to accelerate in coming years."

First Watch employs a staff of 30 people at its current headquarters in Bradenton.

The restaurant chain has nearly 100 restaurants in 14 states, including five in the Manatee area. The company plans to grow to 115 restaurants by the end of 2012.

Each restaurant creates between 25 to 30 jobs and the chain employs more than 2,500 people nationwide, according to the company's website.

First Watch was formed in California in 1983, but relocated its headquarters to Bradenton in 1986.

Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter:@_1NickWilliams