BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Watch (NASDAQ:FWRG), the leader in daytime meals, has partnered with WinCup, Inc. to replace approximately 30 million plastic straws annually in its more than 440 restaurants across the country with phad®, a one-of-a-kind sustainable straw that breaks down naturally in the ocean within months. The new partners collectively place innovation and environmental sustainability at the heart of their priorities, while delivering a customer experience that looks and feels like a traditional plastic straw, but will safely return to nature through composting. First Watch currently offers phadé® straws in two of its markets and intends to roll them out nationwide within the next two months.
“First Watch is committed to doing the right thing for the communities we serve, and a big part of that is giving our teams and customers the chance to be part of something bigger than themselves. themselves,” said Matt Eisenacher, senior vice president of brand strategy and innovation at First Watch. “Several years ago, we started offering plastic straws only on request. Now we’re taking the next step by responsibly sourcing straw that naturally degrades in months rather than decades. In the markets where we tested the new straws, our customers were delighted with them and preferred them to other renewable alternatives such as paper straws.
The secret behind phad® lies in its careful development that uses natural raw materials to create straws that quickly and safely return to the earth within months of use, a dramatically reduced time frame compared to the hundreds of years it can take traditional petroleum-based straws to leave the environment. This is thanks to straw’s unique PHA (short for polyhydroxyalkanoate) properties, which, due to its organic, plant-based composition, bacteria treat it as a food source in almost all natural environments.
“We are thrilled to partner with First Watch to provide a sustainable resource for its restaurants as the company strives to bring innovative options to its customers,” said Michael Winters, president and chief revenue officer of WinCup. “We know customers will be thrilled when they discover phad® as an alternative to traditional plastic straws that harm the environment and paper straws that create a poor customer experience. We are honored to be part of First Watch’s progress towards creating a more sustainable future.
First Watch’s partnership with WinCup comes as the Bradenton, Florida-based company experiences unprecedented growth. Named the fastest growing full-service restaurant business in 2021 by FSR magazine, First Watch today has a geographic footprint spanning 28 states.
The restaurant concept is making strides in ensuring its experiences and operations are based on sustainable practices. These efforts include offerings such as its award-winning Project Sunrise coffee, which supports independent groups of women farmers in Colombia, 100% recyclable take-out paper bags and containers made from 90% post-consumer waste fiber, towels made with 100% recycled fibers. paper and, more recently, phade® compostable straws.
“With our headquarters located in Florida – not too far from our coastal beaches and state parks – we are proud to do our part to protect the environment,” Eisenacher said. “Although our work continues and we still have a lot to do, we see this as a critical step in our journey towards reducing our plastic footprint. Our passion to do so comes from being surrounded by such natural beauty and sourcing our ingredients from growers across the country and beyond. For them and the many generations of employees and customers we serve, we are committed to continually improving our practices and ensuring that this planet we all call home can thrive for years and decades to come.
In addition to sharing commitments to quality performance, team well-being and doing the right thing, First Watch was drawn to WinCup in part because of its unique, award-winning focus on sustainable solutions. . WinCup has won numerous awards for the development and launch of phad®, including the 2021 Foodservice Innovation Award for Sustainable Solutions from the National Restaurant Association and SmartBrief, and the Innovation Award in bioplastics 2020 from the bioplastics division of PLASTICS (The Plastics Industry Association). Connecting the two organizations enables customers to play a role in protecting the planet.
“The technology behind phad® is truly unmatched and the partnerships we now have with foodservice industry leaders – like First Watch – further validate our work and progress over the past few years,” said Brad Laporte, CEO of WinCup. “With WinCup’s demonstrated experience in commercializing phade® and our nationwide footprint as market demand continues to grow, we can ensure that not only our business, but all of our partners can play a meaningful role in reducing of global plastic pollution.”
About the first watch
First Watch is an award-winning daytime dining concept serving cooked-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. The recipient of hundreds of local ‘Best Breakfast’ and ‘Best Brunch’ accolades, First Watch’s chef-led menu includes elevated executions of classic dishes as well as First Watch specialties such as the vitamin-rich Quinoa Power Bowl®. protein, Farm Stand breakfast tacos, Avocado Toast, Chickichanga, Morning Meditation (pressed daily on site), Vodka Kale Tonic and its famous Million Dollar Bacon. In 2022, First Watch received a highly sought-after MenuMasters honor from Nation’s Restaurant News for its seasonal braised short rib omelet, and it was honored with ADP’s coveted Culture at Work Award. In 2021, First Watch was recognized as FSR Magazine’s Best Menu and Fastest Growing Full-Service Restaurant Chain based on unit growth. There are more than 440 First Watch restaurants in 28 states, and the restaurant concept is majority-owned by Advent International, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.
About WinCup, Inc.
WinCup, Inc. is headquartered in Stone Mountain, Georgia. WinCup is a leading manufacturer of traditional and durable disposable cups, bowls, containers, lids and straws. The company’s eight manufacturing sites are committed to providing high quality products and superior customer service. WinCup’s focus on sustainable solutions was reinforced in September 2020 when Los Angeles-based global private investment firm Atar Capital acquired the company. Among Atar’s core principles are a commitment to sustainability and investing in companies that work to protect the environment. To learn more, please visit www.wincup.com and www.phadeproducts.com.
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