First Watch, the Bradenton-based restaurant chain with more than 435 restaurants around the country, was recognized for its workplace culture by ADP, a leading global provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions, as a part of ADP’s annual "Meeting of the Minds" conference. ADP’s "Culture at Work" award honors an organization that deploys programs that drive sustained employee engagement through a dynamic, best-in-class workplace culture.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, First Watch has set out to mitigate the stress of both health and financial uncertainty for its employees. Within three days, the company secured free telemedicine for all employees and their family members and paid for ongoing insurance coverage for all furloughed employees. All employees with three or more years of service were offered $250 in “relief” bonuses upon furlough and $250 in “return” bonuses.” The company also provided a bonus to all restaurant managers and home Oofice employees upon their return from furlough that represented the difference between what they earned in unemployment and their salary to make them financially whole during a period of great instability. Restaurant managers were also provided with monthly appreciation bonuses.
Additionally, First Watch's You First Fund was established in May 2020 to support employees and their immediate families experiencing significant financial hardship with direct assistance. To date, the fund has granted more than $800,000 in tax-free grants to cover immediate needs such as rent and mortgage, utilities, food and groceries, childcare and any other hardship created by the pandemic.
ADP awards recognize a select group of large employers that demonstrate excellence in five categories: workplace culture, employee engagement, HCM innovation, resiliency and diversity, equity and inclusion. Honorees are recognized for their use of HCM technology to deliver strong results and drive positive change.