A family-run restaurant

How a family-owned business in Ohio embraced a data-driven culture and saved themselves thousands of dollars a year – plus a whole lot of time.

A fourth-generation owner of a market and restaurant in Ohio reached out to Productive Computing just as the world was experiencing the onset of the Corona Virus. First opened in Cleveland in the 1940s, the restaurant has undergone its share of transformations over the years. In 2020, as the whole world was struggling to adapt to an unknown future, the family-owned deli was ready to transform again.

The Challenge

Although the father and son own the business together, the son handles much of the day-to-day operations, which gave him unique insight into how the business was running. In 2020, the majority of business operations – from order taking to inventory – were done manually with pen and paper. An order would have to traverse seven different departments before the food got to the customer. Not only was the process labor-intensive, it made the risk for error that much higher. He knew he needed a better way to access, organize, and manage all the data that the business required.

The owner knew he needed a better way to access, organize, and manage all the data
that the business required.

The Solution

While turning an entirely manual system into one that was substantially more streamlined may have seemed daunting at first, he knew he wanted to start with a QuickBooks integration, which would give his team more transparency into its finances. He turned to PCI for the job. From there, the PCI team was able to execute the QuickBooks integration effectively and start to piece together the best way forward for the deli. The PCI Custom Development team worked with the owner to implement and host a new, streamlined FileMaker solution that started saving his business and his team time and money almost immediately.

Next Steps

The custom implementation was a hit, and the owner was hooked. With the new FileMaker database in place, he signed up for the PCI Maintenance Support Program (MSP), which allowed him to keep finetuning his FileMaker solution to best meet his business needs. At first, he was using it for small features like adding another button for his ordering options, but later began thinking ahead to all kinds of options and solutions that helped both his team and his customers have a better ordering experience. The MSP allowed him to submit as many requests as he wanted in a month as long as each request  required less than two hours of work by the Maintenance Team developers. He said, “I can’t believe that someone would have Custom Development work done without having the Maintenance Program.”


According to the restaurant owner, implementing the PCI custom solution was like moving his business from an old building into a brand new, state-of-the-art complex with both employees and customers benefitting. While at first it seemed like a large expense and risk to partner with PCI to do this custom work to create and host his database, the savings in time and money have far exceeded the cost. “We spent more than I wanted to but I don’t regret it at all," he said. "This has helped us decrease the number of errors and frustration and saved us so much time. It is almost surreal how well this has worked… I could cry over it. It truly has been life changing.”

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