First Watch Restaurants Hires Joe Genovese as Vice President, Franchise Development

Award-winning Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant First Watch today announced the hiring of Joe Genovese as vice president, franchise development.

Genovese joins First Watch with more than 40 years of experience in the restaurant, foodservice and packaged goods industries. As vice president, franchise development for First Watch, Genovese will lead the franchising efforts, including sales and development for First Watch as the organization looks for quality partners to continue its aggressive growth strategy. First Watch boasts 115 restaurants nationally, opened 14 new locations in 2013, and has plans for nine openings during the first half of 2014.

“Joe’s experience, relationships and success in the industry will be a tremendous asset to our team as we continue our expansion plans for First Watch around the country.” said Ken Pendery, chief executive officer for First Watch.

An accomplished leader in the industry, Genovese joins First Watch from Starbucks Coffee Company where for the last 15 years he served in various roles including national account director and vice president, franchising for the Seattle’s Best brand. He has also served as executive vice president, marketing and chief development officer for AFC Enterprises.

Genovese received his M.B.A. at Fordham University in New York, and holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Manhattan College. He is active in Toastmasters, a member of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, an advisory board member for uVu Technologies and a member of the advisory board for Manhattan College’s School of Business.

For First Watch franchise information, please visit

First Watch Restaurants Hires Joe Genovese as Vice President, Franchise DevelopmentFirst 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 the fan-favorite Chickichanga and Fresh Fruit Crepes. Named a 2013 “Next 20” emerging brand by Nation’s Restaurant News, First Watch is currently the largest daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with more than 110 restaurants in 15 states and additional units under development as part of the Bradenton, Fla.-based company’s aggressive growth strategy. For more information, visit