A shorter day works for First Watch

Tired of the long hours and constant relocations required in their management jobs with another restaurant chain, the founders of First Watch liked the idea of serving only breakfast, brunch and lunch.

“We could be open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and be on the golf course by 3,” recalled Ken Pendery, chief executive of the Bradenton “daytime cafe” chain.

Don’t by misled by Pendery’s laid-back manner.

He’s the stickler for detail directing the finely-tuned choreography at First Watch restaurants. In a typical day, each crew serves a huge 73-item menu to about 500 customers in a little more than eight hours, half of them in a two-hour lunch rush.

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