Solutions

Family run chain of Florida seafood restaurants uses FileMaker Pro to access legacy data in SQL databases.
Crabby Bill's uses FileMaker Pro to ensure customers are served great food at great prices with great service.

Crabby Bill's

More than 30 years ago, Crabby Bill's founders, Bill and Dolores Loder, promised to serve customers with great food at great prices and with great service. Keeping track of the hundreds of thousands of meals served, the tons of fish and seafood cooked, the millions of dollars in sales, and the myriad happy customers, is FileMaker Pro, helping to ensure that Crabby Bill's delivers on that promise!

Overview

  • A family-owned chain of restaurants on the Tampa/St. Petersburg coast of Florida uses the new External SQL Data Source feature of FileMaker Pro to access inventory, accounting and sales data in two legacy SQL databases.
  • 6 family seafood restaurants
  • Headquartered in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
  • 400 employees and staff access inventory and sales data

Industry

  • Food/Beverage
  • Small Business

Solutions

  • FileMaker Pro provides seamless overview of both new and legacy data from SQL backend.

The main challenge was to be able to link to our data in the SQL backend. All of our data was in two or three databases in the SQL backend and when we had to transfer files over, it was just more trouble than it was worth.

The six restaurants may be called Crabby Bill's, but the friendly service and great prices make sure that "crabby" is only a name. Located on the coast of Florida in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, the restaurants promise to serve the freshest fish and local favorites. And judging from diners' comments it's a promise they keep.

But while food has to be served quickly and piping hot, Luis Campuzano, Crabby Bill's Chief Financial and Technical Officer, found that the data he needed to run the business was regularly served up cold. The problem was simple; the data was in two legacy SQL databases and access to it was through slow custom scripts. "The main challenge was to be able to link to our data in the SQL backend," explains Luis. "All of our data was in two or three databases in the SQL backend and when we had to transfer files over, it was just more trouble than it was worth." At least it was, until he heard about the new features in FileMaker Pro.

Luis wasn't exactly a FileMaker newbie. He'd used the software personally for some time, and Crabby Bill's was using FileMaker for other things, but when Luis learned that with FileMaker Pro he also could access, use and manipulate the vital data that was residing in those two SQL databases he was delighted. Working with Phillip Kurpe, the senior partner of PK Information Systems, LLC in Clearwater, Florida, Luis was quickly able to connect to those SQL backend databases. He was then able to create custom reports such as sales and scheduling, do calculations, and use current data from his existing FileMaker databases seamlessly through the FileMaker Pro interface.

Successful Solution

"We store all the restaurant sales from the chain in the SQL databases, we also have an accounting package that tracks the inventory, and they are both in the backend," says Luis. "So the data that I'm tapping into are in those two databases. Now I'm able to look at both databases in FileMaker Pro and see our combined accounting, inventory and sales data easily and quickly."

We store all the restaurant sales from the chain in the SQL databases, we also have an accounting package that tracks the inventory...Now I'm able to look at both databases in FileMaker Pro and see our combined accounting, inventory and sales data easily and quickly.

— Luis Campuzano, Chief Financial and Technical Officer

Now that over 4 million records in hundreds of tables in the backend databases are easily accessible, Luis has continued implementing other new features in FileMaker Pro. He especially likes the Conditional Formatting, which allows him to quickly visually identify something that needs attention. As a restaurant chain, there are always things specific to his business that Luis needs to attend to. "We actually wrote a seating program for our stores in an earlier version of FileMaker Pro," he says "and now with conditional formatting it's a lot easier to use."

Customer Benefits

The restaurants use a mix of different computers and operating systems; some Apple computers in the restaurants, and a collection of Windows–based machines in the main office. That made FileMaker Pro an obvious choice — and for Luis, made for easy compatibility across the network.

The rapidity with which Luis' legacy data is now served up to him, the ease with which he can see that data and extrapolate the information he needs from it, and the knowledge that it can all be used and manipulated in an interface with which he is familiar is a recipe for success — the secret sauce behind a successful franchise.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker, Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Crabby Bill's Seafood:

Luis Campuzano
Chief Financial and Technical Officer
Crabby Bill's Seafood
727-210-0988
luisc@crabbybills.com
http://www.crabbybills.com

For PK Information Systems, LLC:

IPhillip Kurpe
Senior Partner
PK Information Systems, LLC
727-409-1609
phillipkurpe@pkinformation.com
http://www.pkinformation.com