First Watch Restaurants, Inc., the country’s leading breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, announced today that it has acquired 114-unit Centennial, Co.-based The Egg & I Restaurants. The transaction positions First Watch as the nation’s largest and fastest-growing breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant company with 267 restaurants in 26 states and a combined 18 under development in 2015. Terms of the deal were not announced.
The acquisition is significant as the combined organization immediately becomes the leading player in the breakfast category, which is the fastest-growing segment in the restaurant industry – continually out-pacing all other segments.
Currently, First Watch operates or franchises 153 restaurants in 17 states while The Egg & I operates or franchises 114 restaurants in 20 states. Both concepts boast a blend of company-owned and franchised restaurants.
The move furthers the accelerated growth that First Watch has experienced over the past few years, which has been achieved through a combination of opening new company-owned restaurants, franchised restaurant openings and select tuck-in acquisitions.
“The Egg & I is a wonderful concept with a loyal following that has experienced tremendous growth – particularly over the past several years,” said First Watch President and CEO Ken Pendery. “We saw this acquisition as an opportunity to expand our presence in markets where we don’t currently operate. We look forward to working with Don Lamb, his team and the The Egg & I franchisees to build upon the success they have already achieved.”
“This partnership with First Watch not only allows us to create the largest restaurant company in the breakfast, brunch and lunch category, but it also provides an opportunity to combine the incredible strengths of these two leading brands, creating a better guest experience than ever before,” said Don Lamb, President and CEO of The Egg & I. “I had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with First Watch CEO Ken Pendery and his executive team, and I have no doubt that we will work well together.”
The Egg & I was founded in 1987 and is known for its comfortable and friendly experience that features outstanding food in a place that feels like home. The majority of The Egg & I Restaurants are open from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends. Private meeting rooms are available at most locations. Technomic, the leading research firm serving the food industry, ranked The Egg & I Restaurants the twelfth fastest growing chain in the U.S. and the third fastest growing full-service restaurant. FSR magazine recently ranked the brand among the top franchise values in the U.S. today. For further information, visit TheEggandIRestaurants.com.
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 and the Chickichanga. Just recently, 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 130 restaurants in 17 states. It also operates 20 restaurants under The Good Egg name and one Bread & Company restaurant in Nashville (with another one under construction) in addition to the newly acquired 114 The Egg & I restaurants. For more information, visit firstwatch.com.