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First Watch closes more than 300 corporate stores

The breakfast and lunch chain pledged to provide restaurant managers with a bonus when they're rehired so their annual pay for the year will remain the same.
First Watch
Photograph: Shutterstock

First Watch has alerted customers via its website that most units of the breakfast and lunch chain were closed temporarily as of Monday because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The post stated that all company-operated restaurants had been shut, without providing the exact number. Corporate stores accounted for 313 of First Watch’s 368 U.S. restaurants in 2019, according to Technomic data.

The communication notes that the company is maintaining the healthcare benefits of managers and providing complimentary telehealth care to all employees and their families.

First Watch also pledged to provide managers with a bonus when they return to work that will equal the difference between what they would have made in salary without the furloughs and what they collected in state and federal aid.

“When we emerge from this event, we will do so stronger, and we cannot wait to bring our entire First Watch family back together to serve you when we open our doors once again,” wrote CEO Chris Tomasso.

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