Meet Erick Hampton

A Be A Better Human Story

From dishwashing to cooking on the line, Erick is a back-of-house leader whose motivation, passion and trustworthiness bring out the best in himself and others. He’s worn many hats while working at First Watch East Bay in Clearwater, Florida, but now he’s excited to wear a new hat – a black hat, to be specific!

What’s your First Watch story?

Altogether, I’ve been with First Watch for two years. When I was thinking of applying, I met with the manager and a former coworker who used to work with me at another restaurant. I instantly fell in love with the work ethic, the hands-on teamwork from management and how everyone pitches in to make sure we’re at 100%, no matter what. I’m now at the East Bay restaurant in Clearwater, Florida, and I’ve helped train more than five managers in my time there – some were former mentors of mine, which was fulfilling.

FW Erick Hampton BABH 4

So you received a black hat…tell us more!

I have a list of personal goals at my house and every day I strive to make progress on them. And a few months ago, I received my black hat and it meant a lot – I felt fulfilled, like I had completed my goal. My managers actively see my potential, and it makes me feel good that someone notices the time and effort I put into my work, enough to put me out there for opportunities like this.

What’s the next goal you want to cross off your list?

My next goal: I want to buy a house and new car. But my biggest goal is to work with my brother on his business in the near future. He’s shooting for the stars and wants to make something big, and I want to be a part of it so I can get all of us – my family – to a point where we can have vacations, relax and, whatever happens, we can help one another.

Where do you get your motivation from?

Wanting to do better, for myself and my family. My mother is going through some hard times right now. I just try to make her proud and spend time with her when I can – I want to be in position to help her and my brothers. I’m the little brother, but I don’t always want to be the one who needs help from my big brothers. I’ll keep pushing, keep going and keep doing what I need to do to get there.

Any advice that you lean on to keep you going?

Lots of little things that my mom would do that I wouldn’t understand at the time but now I do. She was a single mother with three kids and always working to make sure we had a roof over our heads and food on the table. She did a good job as a single mom, and every day I look back and notice something I got from her, like my work ethic. I am lucky to have her in my life.

Realizing my potential has helped me do things that I was on the fence about. I don’t want to live life and look back wishing I would’ve done this or that.

– Erick Hampton

Favorite First Watch memory?

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Participating in this summer’s W.H.Y. Tour*. It was a big moment for me to speak directly with our CEO and Chief People Officer and be able to hear insights about what’s happening at other restaurants and what we can change, together. We were so hyped after the call. I feel at First Watch, it’s all about what you make it. All the tools are here, and if we use them right, we can make it a good day.

*The W.H.Y. –  We Hear You – Tour provides opportunities for front-line employees to connect directly with First Watch executives to improve their in-restaurant experience and quality of life.

What is something you’ve learned about yourself while working at First Watch?

My potential. Not that I didn’t see it within myself before, but perhaps I didn’t see the full picture yet, what my managers see in me. Realizing my potential has helped me do things that I was on the fence about. I don’t want to live life and look back wishing I would’ve done this or that. It’s about having fun, too!

Name a place that brings you joy.

If I’m being honest: work. I know what to expect and I know there is going to be good people. At First Watch, I’m there for the professional growth. And at the gym, I can focus on my personal growth.

What have you done to lift someone else’s spirits up?

I recently took my mom to Redington Beach in Florida. So much has happened to her recently, and she doesn’t get time to go out as much as she used to. It was nice to see her around other people and taking it all in. We visited a restaurant across from the beach and when she saw there were onion rings on the menu, she got so excited. I could tell in her eyes that she was remembering being out and having fun, that she was having a good time.

When you’re celebrating, who do you invite around your table? What’s on the menu?

My brothers, mother, and aunt when we’re all in town. About the menu, we really get a mix of stuff, but recently I’ve been getting ribs and jalapeno poppers.

Ready to greet the sunrise with us?