Chris Tomasso was named chief executive officer of First Watch Restaurants, Inc., in June of 2018 after serving as president since December of 2015 and chief marketing officer from 2006 to 2015. Chris brings decades of restaurant industry experience to the role, including executive leadership positions at both large-scale public and private domestic and international multi-unit concepts.
Since joining First Watch in 2006, Chris has led strategic initiatives that have driven First Watch’s industry-leading growth, including the development of a comprehensive multi-year re-branding strategy. During his tenure, First Watch has grown from about 50 restaurants to more than 400 through a well-orchestrated mix of organic growth and acquisition.
Prior to joining First Watch, Chris led national and international marketing efforts for renowned brands such as Cracker Barrel and Hard Rock Café International. He was honored on Nation’s Restaurant News‘ list of Most Influential Restaurant CEOs in 2021 and its Power List in 2017.
Chris is an active University of Central Florida alumna and currently serves on the University of Central Florida Foundation Board of Directors. He was inducted into the university’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media Hall of Fame in 2016.