First Watch Names New VP of Finance

Award-winning Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant First Watch today announced the addition of a key executive to its management team in the hiring of Chris Olson as vice president of finance.

Olson joins First Watch after more than 20 years of building and leading high performance finance organizations in companies with annual revenues from $50 million to $4 billion. As vice president of finance for First Watch, he will be responsible for strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, and treasury management.

“Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from major national and international brands and will play a key role in helping us successfully achieve our aggressive growth plans,” said Ken Pendery, chief executive officer for First Watch. “We’re excited to welcome him on board and look forward to his strategic input as we continue to expand our presence in new and existing markets throughout the U.S.”

Most recently, Olson served as the vice president of finance, planning and analysis for Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. in Winter Park, Fla., and also has held executive-level finance positions with Silver Diner and Outback Steakhouse, Inc. – now known as Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.

Olson, a certified public accountant, holds a master’s in business administration from The University of Texas at Dallas and a bachelor’s in finance from Oklahoma State University.

First Watch has specialized in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch for nearly 30 years. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, to unique specialty items like the fan-favorite Chickichanga and Fresh Fruit Crepes. It is currently the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with nearly 100 restaurants in 14 states and additional units under development as part of the Bradenton, Fla.-based company’s aggressive growth strategy.  For more information, visit

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