First Watch announced today that Chief Marketing Officer Chris Tomasso has been promoted to President of First Watch effective January 1, 2016. Tomasso joined the First Watch executive team in 2006 and has led the company’s marketing and strategic branding efforts during a decade of significant growth for the company.
Tomasso, a 23-year restaurant veteran, will be responsible for overseeing all restaurant operations in addition to First Watch’s marketing and culinary functions. Prior to his tenure as Chief Marketing Officer, Tomasso served as the Vice President of Marketing for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. and Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Hard Rock Café International.
“Chris brings a unique combination of strategic brand vision and tactical operations knowledge, and he has served as a trusted advisor to me since he joined First Watch nearly 10 years ago,” said Ken Pendery, CEO of First Watch. “He has always embraced our culture and has helped lead First Watch through years of brand evolution and aggressive growth. I’m confident that we will continue on the path to success and maintain our dynamic culture with Chris in this new role.”
Chris was named a Top Private Company CMO in 2012 by ExecRank and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executive Group and the Marketing Advisory Board for Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the University of Central Florida’s Alumni Association.
First Watch specializes in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, and unique specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was named a 2015 Top Consumer Pick by Nation’s Restaurant News and has received other recognition including being named a 2013 “Next 20” Emerging Brand by Nation’s Restaurant News and a 2014 Top Franchise Value by FSR Magazine. First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with more than 270 restaurants in 26 states, including more than 135 First Watch restaurants, 116 The Egg & I Restaurants, 20 The Good Egg restaurants and one Bread & Company restaurant in Nashville (with another one under construction). For more information, visit firstwatch.com.