First Watch Acquires Egg & I In Historic Breakfast Merger
First Watch Restaurants Inc., announced today that it has acquired 114-unit Centennial, Colorado-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.
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,” says 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,” says 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.”