May 1, 2018

Happy Mother’s Day!

BY FIrst Watch

Mother’s Day! It’s a special, happy holiday that always brings a smile to my face. It usually involves flowers, a nice meal (preferably breakfast or brunch at your local First Watch) and lots and lots of hugs. This Mother’s Day, I am proud to share some stories about my Mom.

Sherry is a beautiful, strong-willed, life-lesson teaching, sport-coaching, motorcycle-riding woman! She raised my brother Dallas and me as a single parent, sacrificing so much during our childhood to ensure we had everything we could ever want. Some might even say we are two “Momma’s Boys…” and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong!

Mom was a catholic school teacher for 42 years and a coach and athletic director at the school my brother and I attended. She dedicated her working life to ensuring children had the opportunity to learn and play. She worked two jobs but somehow always had the time to get us to the next game or practice, as sports were an important part of our upbringing. She instilled in us that with hard work, teamwork and determination you can accomplish anything.

I’m fortunate that she’s such an incredible woman, and she’s never afraid to let you know how she feels about something… And you know when she uses your middle name, that she means business! For example, a few years ago during a First Watch menu change, we considered retiring one of our core menu items – the chicken salad melt. As a test, we removed it from the menus in some of our restaurants.  Of course, Mom happened to be in one of those restaurants, saw that it was no longer on the menu and promptly called me:

Mom: Shane.

Me: Yes Mom, what’s up?

Mom: Shane William, did you remove the chicken salad melt from the first menu?!

Me: Yeah Mom, it wasn’t really a big seller, and we are making room for some new menu items… Wait, are you seriously calling me to ask me this?!

Mom: Yes Shane, I am seriously calling you about this. My friends and I are very upset. You know we come here every Tuesday for chicken salad melts!

Me: Um, ok mom well that’s not really how menu items are evaluated to see if they stay on the menu or not… so, thanks for the feedback but…

Mom: Shane William, you put it back on the menu or we are not coming back to First Watch!

Needless to say, the chicken salad melt is still on our menu and most likely won’t be retired anytime soon.

“I respect my team. My coaches. And myself!”  Mom has preached this to so many kids over the years, including me and my children, and she really believes in it. Honesty, integrity, humility, sportsmanship, passion, care – these are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about Mom.  Her positive attitude and strong leadership skills are without a doubt what made me the man I am today, and I will always be grateful.

So, on this Mother’s Day, give your Mom an extra big hug, treat her to breakfast, brunch or lunch at your local First Watch (We’ll give her a box of chocolates!) and remember – you literally (yes, literally) would not be where you are today without her.

And if you happen to be in the Tampa Bay area and hear that Sherry is in the house, swing by her table and give her a high-five. Lord knows she would love that.

Until next time!

Shane