Uncovering the Benefits of Working at First Watch: Employee Reviews of 2022’s Most Loved Workplace

Imagine working at a place where your well-being, growth, and happiness are truly valued. A workplace that has been recognized as 2022’s most loved workplace – First Watch. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the amazing benefits and experiences of being a First Watch employee, as shared by the employees themselves. Get ready to discover the ins and outs of First Watch, from the daily life of its employees to the incredible perks and supportive culture that make it stand out in the restaurant industry.

Key Takeaways

  • First Watch offers a friendly work environment with helpful co-workers, free food & comprehensive training.
  • Employees enjoy great benefits, wellness programs and growth opportunities for career advancement.
  • Working at First Watch provides an exciting & supportive atmosphere with competitive pay and financial perks.

A Day in the Life of a First Watch Employee

At First Watch, every day is an opportunity to learn, grow, and make lasting connections with your co workers and customers. The vibrant atmosphere keeps you on your toes, and the culture is all about helping each other out, making it a great company to work for. As a former employee says, “The staff was definitely the best part of the job for me. Plus, the pros free food made it even better.” A current employee also appreciates the supportive environment and camaraderie among the team.

What does a typical day at First Watch look like? Here’s a glimpse into the various roles and responsibilities within the company.

Uncovering the Benefits of Working at First Watch: Employee Reviews of 2022's Most Loved Workplace

Serving Experience

As a server at First Watch, your role is instrumental in shaping memorable dining experiences for customers. Your day will be filled with:

  • Taking orders
  • Delivering food and beverages
  • Describing menu items
  • Collaborating with your team members to provide top-notch service

The serving experience heavily depends on teamwork, with servers backing each other to deliver superior service, thereby exemplifying a strong work ethic.

First Watch ensures their servers are ready to provide quality customer service by offering a comprehensive 10-week training program and coaching and resources for operations leaders. With a smiling face and positive disposition, serving customers is of utmost importance, reflecting the fundamental values of kindness and respect in First Watch’s service philosophy.

Kitchen Staff Roles

At the core of First Watch, the kitchen staff puts in relentless effort to guarantee that each dish meets the highest quality standards. Roles in the kitchen include server, cook, line cook, dishwasher, food runner, and busser. Cooks, for instance, are responsible for quickly and efficiently preparing food using First Watch recipes, accommodating special guest requests, and properly presenting food items, including fresh coffee.

First Watch is committed to maintaining high standards in food preparation and safety. They prioritize food safety, require third-party supplier audits, and provide careful training and supervision in each restaurant. Efficiency is also key, with managers supervising kitchen operations to streamline workflow and coordinate tasks, while using technologies such as Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) to boost productivity.

Management Team Dynamics

A strong management team is the backbone of any successful restaurant, and First Watch is no exception. The management team, including the CEO, CFO, and Chief People Officer, is dedicated to providing support and fostering a culture that puts employees first. They offer initiatives such as:

  • An employee assistance fund
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling options

These initiatives ensure that employees feel fulfilled, supported, and appreciated.

At First Watch, managers have a significant role in fostering employee development, offering all-inclusive training programs, and reinforcing the company’s mission, vision, and values. They collaborate with their teams to increase sales, offering guidance and mentorship to help employees reach their full potential.

Welcome in the Team

We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome in the team to our newest member! Your arrival marks an exciting milestone for us, as we embark on this collective journey towards our shared goals. The infusion of your unique skills and perspectives will undoubtedly enrich our dynamic and foster a culture of collaboration and innovation. As you settle into your role, know that you are joining a group of dedicated individuals who are committed to achieving excellence in everything we do. Together, we’ll navigate challenges, celebrate victories, and grow both personally and professionally. Your presence here is not only valued, but it is vital to the success and continued growth of our team. Once again, welcome aboard!

The Perks of Being a First Watch Team Member

A First Watch team member enjoying free food and a great work environment

Being a First Watch team member comes with a host of benefits that contribute to a rewarding work experience. From wellness programs to work-life balance initiatives and growth opportunities, First Watch goes the extra mile to ensure employee satisfaction and success.

Wellness Benefits

A First Watch employee enjoying wellness benefits and a good work-life balance

First Watch recognizes that a thriving work environment is rooted in the well-being of its employees. They offer health insurance plans, fitness programs, and mental wellness resources to support your well-being. For instance, First Watch has partnered with Calm, the #1 app for meditation and sleep, to help promote mental well-being for their employees.

In addition to health insurance, First Watch offers a Fitness Incentive Program, where qualifying employees are eligible for a $35/month allowance to spend on fitness-related memberships, equipment, and activities. They also provide regular wellness checkups for preventative healthcare measures.

Work-Life Balance

A First Watch employee managing their personal schedule with the support of upper management

First Watch prioritizes the maintenance of a healthy work-life balance. They offer a generous and permissive unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) policy to encourage employees to take time off, as well as flexible work schedules and hybrid working options to accommodate individual needs.

Flexible working hours have been a dream come true for employees, allowing them to adjust their personal schedule to fit their academic commitments and other responsibilities.

First Watch’s commitment to work-life balance has earned them a 4.0 out of 5 rating for work-life balance on Glassdoor. Through creating a pleasant work environment, organizing early shifts, and offering a flexible work schedule, First Watch helps its employees strike a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives.

Growth Opportunities


First Watch’s people-first culture provides numerous opportunities for growth and advancement within the company. They offer educational benefits programs and support continuing education, giving employees the chance to develop and advance in their careers. As they open more restaurants, there will be even more opportunities for employees to take on new roles and responsibilities.

Employees can explore different career progression paths, such as working alongside restaurant experts or within the home office. First Watch provides training programs and resources to help potential managers learn the best practices for managing operations. Their dedication to employee development has led to exceptional employee satisfaction and happiness at work.

New Employee Welcome to the Team Images

Welcoming a new employee to the team is a momentous occasion that deserves a warm and inviting gesture. This is where “new employee welcome to the team images” come into play. These images serve as a visual representation of the company’s excitement to have a new member on board. They can range from cheerful group photos of the team, snapshots of the welcoming committee, or even personalized images featuring the new employee’s name. Incorporating these images into the onboarding process not only helps in easing any first-day jitters but also sets a positive tone for the newcomer’s journey within the company. Furthermore, these images serve as a tangible memory, reminding the new employee of their warm reception as they embark on their professional journey with the team. Choosing or creating these images with care ensures that the welcoming experience is both memorable and impactful for the new member, fostering a sense of belonging right from the start.

A Supportive and Inclusive Workplace Culture


First Watch is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture that values diversity and provides an environment where everyone feels valued and respected for their unique qualities.

They strive to create an inclusive culture where all team members can contribute and be heard, and where everyone has the chance to reach their highest potential.

Building Strong Relationships

In the restaurant industry, the success heavily relies on building robust relationships. At First Watch, they prioritize employee empowerment, authenticity, and a “you first” culture to foster strong relationships among staff members. By nurturing relationships between staff and guests, First Watch creates a welcoming atmosphere and ensures customers have an exceptional dining experience.

Strong relationships are not only important for customer loyalty but also for creating a positive work environment. As a former employee says, “We always supported each other. The staff was definitely the best part of the job for me.” At First Watch, teamwork and camaraderie are the foundation of their success.

Community Involvement

First Watch takes pride in being an active member of the community and giving back. They are involved with local schools, athletic clubs, and nonprofits, and have teamed up with the V Foundation to help fund pediatric cancer research. First Watch has also introduced a “7 Steps Toward Change” platform to promote diversity and inclusion within the company, raising awareness throughout the industry.

Through mentorship programs, donations, and volunteerism, First Watch demonstrates its commitment to making a positive impact in local communities. Employees are encouraged to participate in community service and take advantage of the resources and opportunities provided to them.

Emphasis on Kindness and Respect

First Watch’s values are deeply rooted in kindness and respect. They have implemented initiatives like the “7 Steps Toward Change” to foster a culture of kindness and respect, and they offer monthly classes on stress management, personal finances, and CPR certification.

First Watch fosters a culture where employees come first, and they demonstrate this commitment to respect by providing resources and support to maintain employee well-being. They strive to create an environment free from discrimination and harassment and have clear policies in place to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and with respect.

Compensation and Financial Benefits at First Watch


Employees at First Watch benefit from:

  • Competitive compensation
  • Attractive salaries
  • Financial perks
  • Benefits packages

With a 3.5 out of 5 rating for compensation and benefits on Glassdoor, First Watch is known for providing these advantages to its employees.

Employees can take advantage of a 401(k) plan, health insurance, and paid

Competitive Pay

First Watch offers competitive pay for various positions within the company. The average salaries for different positions range from about $8.41 per hour for Host/Server to $30.00 per hour for Automotive Technician. Annual salaries range from approximately $41,047 to $64,555, depending on the job title.

First Watch employees also report receiving performance-based bonuses and incentives, further adding to their attractive watch pay compensation packages.

Tuition Reimbursement

First Watch prioritizes investment in the educational and career advancement of its employees. They offer a tuition reimbursement program, providing up to a generous $4,800 for a four-year degree from any college.

This benefit allows employees to pursue their academic goals while working at First Watch, ensuring a bright future both within the company and beyond.

Financial Wellness Programs

First Watch is committed to supporting its employees’ financial well-being by offering financial wellness programs. They provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers confidential solutions to life’s challenges, such as financial concerns.

They also have a fund to help with personal and living expenses for employees in need. Partnering with Calm, First Watch provides resources to improve overall well-being, including financial wellness, for their employees.

New Manager Introduction Email to Team

Sending a well-crafted new manager introduction email to the team is a crucial step in establishing a positive and productive working relationship. This message serves as the initial touchpoint for your team members to get to know you and understand your management style. It’s important to strike a balance between professionalism and approachability, setting the tone for open communication and collaboration. In this email, you should highlight your background, experience, and your enthusiasm for leading the team. Additionally, expressing a genuine interest in getting to know each team member individually can go a long way in building trust and rapport from the outset. Remember to convey your commitment to the team’s success and invite any initial questions or suggestions they may have.

The Challenges and Rewards of Working at First Watch

A photo of a smiling First Watch employee taking customer orders at the counter

Employment at First Watch brings with it a balanced mix of challenges and rewards. While employees may face long hours and shift work, they also enjoy numerous benefits, such as a supportive work environment, growth opportunities, and competitive pay.

In the words of a former employee:

  • “Working at First Watch can be an incredibly rewarding experience!
  • You’ll get to work with a great team
  • Be part of a high energy atmosphere
  • Have the chance to learn a lot.”

Fast-Paced Environment

In First Watch’s dynamic environment, it’s vital for employees to demonstrate efficiency, multitasking skills, and effective stress management. This can be challenging but also contributes to personal and professional growth.

First Watch supports employees by offering “veto responsibility” to all employees, no matter their position, and by fostering a supportive and fulfilling workplace that puts employee well-being first.

Long Hours and Shift Work

While the long working hours and shifts at First Watch can be demanding, they also bring a plethora of rewards. Managers are expected to work every weekend and can work up to 70 hours a week.

However, First Watch is committed to supporting its employees who don’t work nights by implementing the following policies:

  • No night shifts
  • Limiting shift duration to 8 hours
  • Using a rotational schedule to reduce the impact of shift work on employee health and sleep patterns.

Employee Success Stories

There are countless inspiring success stories from First Watch employees, illustrating the benefits of working for this remarkable company. These stories highlight:

  • The incredible organizational culture and employee-centric approach that First Watch is known for
  • Employees being able to explore different career progression paths
  • Working alongside restaurant experts
  • Developing new skillsets within the company

These success stories are a testament to the fact that putting employees first and creating a supportive work environment can make a real positive difference in people’s lives.


In conclusion, First Watch offers a supportive and inclusive workplace that values its employees and provides numerous benefits and growth opportunities. From the daily life of its employees to the incredible perks and supportive culture, First Watch truly stands out as 2022’s most loved workplace. Employees can expect competitive pay, wellness benefits, work-life balance, and a strong focus on personal and professional growth.

So, if you’re considering a career at First Watch, know that you’ll be joining a company that values its employees and offers a fulfilling, rewarding work experience. After all, it’s not every day you find a company that truly puts its people first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do First Watch employees get discounts?

Yes, First Watch employees get discounts on their own meals and those of their family and friends when dining with them.

Why do you want to work at First Watch?

I’m eager to join First Watch and be part of a team where creating meaningful experiences and relationships is valued as much as providing high-quality food. I’m confident that the award-winning culture here will provide me with an enjoyable, fulfilling working environment.

What does First Watch mean?

At First Watch, we believe the very first shift of the day is the best – fresh fruit and veggies sliced and juiced just for you and French toast batter whipped up from scratch. Enjoy the “First Watch” experience!

What company owns First Watch?

Advent International, Inc., one of the world’s largest private equity firms, owns the majority of First Watch restaurants located in 29 states. With over 490 locations, Advent International focuses on international buyouts, growth, and strategic restructuring within five core sectors.

Do first watch servers get good tips?

First watch servers get great tips, especially if you’re a great server! I can speak from experience as I’ve been there for 2 years and always get good tips.

Tehsin Bhayani

AirMason was born when Tehsin was trying to create a digital culture book, but couldn’t find any solutions in the market that had all the features he needed. In 2016, AirMason officially launched. In five years, AirMason has created thousands of handbooks for more than 1,000 clients around the world.

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