Kenneth Pendery, Jr.
Principal, First Watch Restaurants, Sarasota, Florida
Age: 42. Why he's rising: Savvy entrepreneur who works both sides of foodservice fence, as owner of both chain and independent restaurants. Years in foodservice: 22.
Schooling: Majored in finance at University of Indiana. Performance: In 1994 Pendery and two partners merged to form First Watch Restaurants, Inc., a 14-unit chain of breakfast-and-lunch-only restaurants. Biggest career accomplishment: Founded The National Exemplar, in 1983, in Cincinnati. Owns three other high-volume eateries in the restaurant-jammed city. Mentor: None in particular, but studies "any successful business person who has ability to lead employ-ees." Wins praise for: First Watch Restaurants described as "best," "excellent," "first-rate," "good value" in 1996 Zagat Survey of Central Florida. First job in foodservice: Manager, Cork 'n Cleaver restaurants. What the future holds: Plans to grow First Watch into a $20 million company operating 24 restaurants by end of 1997; may take it public at that time.