First Watch Vs. the Competition

The competition between First Watch and other breakfast franchises grows every day. Take a look at the different restaurants and how they stack up against each other.

You’re ready to open a breakfast restaurant and want to look at franchise options. But, how to know which is the best breakfast franchise? Take a look at the different restaurants and how they stack up against each other. We’ve provided a quick overview below.


First Watch

The Original Pancake House


Franchise Fee




Total Investment

$939,950 – $1,770,300

$482,500 – $1,666,250

$450,000 – $860,000

Royalty Fee




Ad Royalty Fee



Up to 1%

SOURCE: First Watch FDD, The Original Pancake House FDD, Scramblers FDD  


Founded in 1983 in Pacific Grove, California, by John Sullivan and Ken Pendery. The brand began franchising in 2008 and now has 88 franchised locations across 17 states. According to the brand’s latest Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), the corporation owns 321 locations in the U.S.

First Watch restaurants serve some of your traditional favorite breakfast foods but also offer a “healthier side” menu and power bowls served with quinoa. First Watch also has a juice bar menu using only all-natural ingredients and made daily. Patrons can choose to enhance their juice with a wellness shot of vitamins.

According to their latest FDD, investment costs to open a First Watch franchise range between $939,950 and $1,770,300, including their $40,000 franchise fee. Franchisees can expect to pay a royalty fee of 4% and an ad royalty fee of 2%.

Might sound like a great opportunity, but there’s a catch. First Watch franchise…doesn’t franchise. The brand is not currently accepting any franchise applications. Instead, they invite investors to purchase their stock. Having gone public on Sept. 30, 2021, First Watch’s stock was originally sold at $18 a share. Price per share now hangs around $14-$15.


The Original Pancake House was founded in 1953 in Portland, Oregon, by Les Highet and Erma Hueneke. The brand has 143 franchise locations – and one corporately owned – across 29 states in the U.S. The Original Pancake House also has 10 locations in Japan and six in Korea.

Similar to First Watch, The Original Pancake House serves your traditional breakfast fare, but, of course, has an expansive menu of pancakes, waffles, and crepes to choose from. The brand also offers freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices along with coffees and teas.

Their most recent FDD shows the investment costs to open a franchise location range between $482,500 and $1,666,250, which includes their $60,000 franchise fee. Franchisees are expected to pay a 2% royalty fee and a 1% ad royalty fee over the course of their agreement.


Founded in 1989 and franchising since 2005, Scramblers franchise has been a long time player in the breakfast franchise space. With 26 locations in Ohio and Michigan, Scramblers offers you ample opportunity to grow with our system. For more than 30 years we have perfected our brand, our craft and our fan base, and we’re actively expanding into 12 new states across the country.

Similar to the other franchises mentioned, Scramblers offers a wide menu of delicious breakfast and lunch items, including their bottomless griddle and specialties like Uncle Moose’s Manhandler Skillet. The brand does have our “smart starts” menu, which includes lighter meal options.

The investment costs to open a Scrambler’s franchise range between $450,000 and $860,000. This includes our franchise fee of $40,000. While our investment costs are the most affordable on this list, our royalty fees are similar to those of First Watch. Franchisees pay a 4% royalty fee and up to 1% ad royalty fee. Franchise candidates should have a net worth of $500,000 and $150,000 in liquid capital.


Still debating on the best breakfast franchise? We think the choice is clear. With 30 years of experience, a proven business model, ongoing franchise training and support, and eggceptional food, Scramblers is the ideal breakfast franchise investment for any new or seasoned entrepreneur.

Come see what’s hatchin’! To learn more about our franchise opportunity, fill out this form and one of our representatives will be in touch.

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