First Watch Restaurants Names New Chief Development Officer

Award-winning Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant First Watch today announced the addition of another key executive to its management team in the hiring of Richard Renninger as chief development officer.

Renninger joins First Watch with more than 20 years in the real estate and restaurant industry. As chief development officer for First Watch, his responsibilities will include aggressive new restaurant development, strategic planning and generating new and alternative means to maximize return on capital investments. Prior to joining First Watch, he served as the executive vice president and chief development officer for OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC (now Bloomin’ Brands). He also has held executive-level real estate and development positions with Rare Hospitality International, Inc. (now owned by Darden Restaurants, Inc.) and Waffle House, Inc.

“As we continue to expand our scope and presence throughout the U.S., it’s imperative that we add key positions to support this growth,” said Ken Pendery, chief executive officer for First Watch. “This position will be instrumental in our development moving forward, and given Richard’s experience and success in our industry, he will be a great addition to the management team.”

The new position is the second for First Watch in recent months as the company plans for accelerated growth in the coming years. In August, First Watch introduced Chris Olson as its new vice president of finance. Olson joined the company after serving as vice president of finance, planning and analysis at Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc.

Renninger is a graduate of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., with a concentration in economics and has held real estate licenses in Florida and Georgia.

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First Watch Restaurants Names New Chief Development Officer

First Watch Restaurants Names New Chief Development OfficerFirst 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 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