First Watch Restaurant Group, Inc. Provides Update on Restaurants Impacted by Hurricane Ian
BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Watch Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FWRG) (“First Watch” or the “Company”), the Florida-based leading Daytime Dining concept with more than 445 restaurants nationwide, today provided an update on its Company-owned restaurants in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall during the first week of the Company’s fourth fiscal quarter.
Due to the hurricane, 85 of First Watch’s Company-owned restaurants closed for at least one business day. As of Monday, October 3, all but 10 of those restaurants have reopened. The remaining unopened restaurants are located primarily in the Ft. Myers and Naples markets where damage assessments and restoration of utilities are pending. While First Watch is still assessing the full impact of Hurricane Ian, management has determined the whereabouts of the Company’s employees and believes fewer than 5 of its restaurants sustained any significant physical damage.
The Company maintains insurance coverage of all its Company-owned restaurants including property, flood and business interruption. Management is working with its insurance providers to assess the overall impact from the storm and expects the assessment to take several weeks to determine the extent, if any, to which the coverages apply.
“First and foremost, I am relieved that our employees are accounted for. I am proud of our First Watch teams who have worked tirelessly to rapidly ensure the wellbeing of these impacted employees while safely stocking, staffing and reopening restaurants so that our community can once again begin to enjoy a sense of normalcy and comfort,” said Chris Tomasso, Chief Executive Officer and President.
About First Watch
First Watch is an award-winning Daytime Dining concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. A recipient of hundreds of local “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch’s chef-driven menu includes elevated executions of classic favorites along with First Watch specialties such as the protein-packed Quinoa Power Bowl®, Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos, Avocado Toast, Chickichanga, Morning Meditation (juiced in-house daily), Vodka Kale Tonic and its famous Million Dollar Bacon. There are more than 445 First Watch restaurants in 28 states, and the restaurant concept is majority owned by Advent International, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms. For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.
In addition to historical information, this release may contain a number of “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, information concerning First Watch’s possible or assumed future results of operations, new restaurant openings, business strategies, competitive position, industry environment, potential growth opportunities and the effects of regulation. These statements are based on First Watch’s current expectations and beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions concerning future events. When used in this press release, the words “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “target,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “future,” “propose,” “preliminary,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “on track” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, by their nature, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. As a result, our actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include the following: adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious diseases; uncertainty regarding ongoing hostility between Russia and Ukraine and the related impact on macroeconomic conditions, including inflation, as a result of such conflict or other related events; our vulnerability to changes in economic conditions and consumer preferences; our inability to successfully open new restaurants or establish new markets; our inability to effectively manage our growth; potential negative impacts on sales at our and our franchisees’ restaurants as a result of our opening new restaurants; a decline in visitors to any of the retail centers, lifestyle centers, or entertainment centers where our restaurants are located; lower than expected same-restaurant sales growth; unsuccessful marketing programs and limited time new offerings; changes in the cost of food; unprofitability or closure of new restaurants or lower than previously experienced performance in existing restaurants; our inability to compete effectively for customers; unsuccessful financial performance of our franchisees; our limited control over our franchisees’ operations; our inability to maintain good relationships with our franchisees; conflicts of interest with our franchisees; the geographic concentration of our system-wide restaurant base in the southeast portion of the United States; damage to our reputation and negative publicity; our inability or failure to recognize, respond to and effectively manage the accelerated impact of social media; our limited number of suppliers and distributors for several of our frequently used ingredients; information technology system failures or breaches of our network security; our failure to comply with federal and state laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, advertising and consumer protection, or the expansion of current or the enactment of new laws or regulations relating to privacy, data protection, advertising and consumer protection; our potential liability with our gift cards under the property laws of some states; our failure to enforce and maintain our trademarks and protect our other intellectual property; litigation with respect to intellectual property assets; our dependence on our executive officers and certain other key employees; our inability to identify qualified individuals for our workforce; our failure to obtain or to properly verify the employment eligibility of our employees; our failure to maintain our corporate culture as we grow; unionization activities among our employees; employment and labor law proceedings; labor shortages or increased labor costs or health care costs; risks associated with leasing property subject to long-term and non-cancelable leases; risks related to our sale of alcoholic beverages; costly and complex compliance with federal, state and local laws; changes in accounting principles applicable to us; our vulnerability to natural disasters (including Hurricane Ian), unusual weather conditions, pandemic outbreaks, political events, war and terrorism; our inability to secure additional capital to support business growth; our level of indebtedness; failure to comply with covenants under our credit facility; and the interests of our majority stockholder may differ from those of public stockholders. For additional discussion of factors that could impact our operational and financial results, please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2021, our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 27, 2022 and our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investors Relations section of the Company’s website at https://investors.firstwatch.com/financial-information/sec-filings. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, our actual financial condition, results of operations, future performance and business may vary in material respects from the performance projected in these forward-looking statements.
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