First Watch, the Bradenton-based breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant company, recently unveiled a new interior design concept that is a fresh, more modern approach to providing guests with a total dining experience.  

Dubbed "Connect," the new concept connects traditional First Watch design with contemporary by maximizing natural light and incorporating warm color tones. The design also accentuates an open-kitchen concept, which reinforces First Watch's honest approach to fresh food preparation.

Schmidt Design Studio, an interior design firm specializing in restaurants, bars, and hospitality spaces, developed the revitalized concept for the brand which includes a welcoming and warm color pallet, contemporary art pieces, and a more functional and customer-friendly open kitchen. 

"We are very excited about how ‘Connect’ ties our core values of fresh food and a pleasant dining experience to our restaurant's interior look and feel," says Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer for First Watch.

"First Watch wanted to encourage comfort and relaxation to their patrons," says Anna Schmidt, CEO and principal interior designer of Schmidt Design Studio, "so we made sure from the first steps into the restaurant every design aspect embodied contemporary comfort."

Inside the restaurants, Schmidt installed fresh finishes including upholsteries in vibrant patterns, contemporary millwork, and custom carpet made specifically for the First Watch brand, as well as faux-wood plank flooring.

The architectural drop ceiling provides visual layers and lighting details that give a soft glowing effect throughout the dining room.

The ever-popular Daily Specials chalkboard received a more modern execution and continues to showcase limited-time offerings on center stage of the dining room. A crisp art package was also brought in to add a touch of whimsy and artistic expression. Each picture was handpicked because of its color pallet and cuisine motif.

Schmidt put its spin on the staple First Watch "open kitchen." In an effort to reduce noise and distractions, an architectural window encloses most of the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. This division incorporates ultra-contemporary resin panels set into the wall, playing on the theme of a neighborhood kitchen window.

"Connect" was recently revealed in three new restaurants in Nashville; Jacksonville, Florida; and Solon, Ohio, as well as in remodels of six First Watch restaurants in the Columbus, Ohio, market.

Moving forward, all newly opened restaurants will feature the "Connect" interior design concept, including each of the 15 restaurants planned to open in 2012.

Industry News, Marketing & Promotions, First Watch