Support scheme joins a raft of measures for staff and their communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

You First Fund

Helping staff suffering Covid-19 related financial distress

Restaurant group First Watch has taken decisive action in support of its employees and the communities they serve.
First Watch’s mission has always been “You First” – and the restaurant chain has committed to several different measures to protect its employees’ health and financial well-being, even as nearly all its restaurant locations have temporarily closed during the lockdown period.
Most recently, and perhaps most significantly, the You First Fund is the latest in a line of initiatives to support First Watch team members. The fund was created, with support from the Advent Global Relief Fund, to help staff who may be struggling to meet personal or family expenses because of the crisis. Qualifying workers can apply for a tax-free grant – which, if approved, is paid within days.
In addition, First Watch has provided relief payments to longstanding hourly team members who are on furlough and has pledged to provide a bonus for furloughed restaurant managers when they return to work. The benefits have been partly funded through cost savings and pay cuts taken by senior leadership.
The restaurant company is providing more than financial support to its employees though. First Watch has invested in telemedicine benefits for all employees – whether at work or furloughed – and their families, at no cost to them. This program grants every staff member access to medical professionals who can diagnose issues, authorize tests and prescribe medications.
The company also committed to continuing all the existing healthcare benefits of furloughed employees, and to covering 100% of out-of-pocket costs, co-pays and deductibles for any medical visits related to Covid-19.
Various First Watch locations across the United States have been providing free meals for healthcare workers, first responders and other people impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The franchise in Springfield, Missouri, is among those to have risen to the challenge, donating more than 5,000 free meals to local children.
Headquartered in Manatee County, Florida, First Watch is a daytime restaurant concept that offers made-to-order breakfasts, brunches and lunches using fresh ingredients. It operates more than 365 outlets across 29 states of the USA.