Family-run seafood chain credits Heartland’s shared customer-first core values with its continued success
St. Mary’s Seafood & More began as a shared dream between two brothers from New York. Eight years and four locations later, it’s a bustling Jacksonville, Florida, staple—and the whole family is involved, including three more brothers, parents, wives and children.
“There’s always somebody from the family at our restaurants. We try to give all of our guests that personal touch,” says co-owner Nammour Nammour. “We want people to enter as customers but leave as family.”
Indeed, this tight-knit group, who plays cards together almost every night, has woven the family fiber into every aspect of their business.
That’s why moving to a cloud-based point-of-sale system was so appealing for them: streamlined systems managed from a hand-held device equal more family time.
When they originally started their business, they used a legacy system Nammour describes as having “too many hiccups.” Not only did the software seem out-of-date for the sky-high price point, but the interface also was complicated and didn’t allow for many modifications.
That’s when Nammour turned to JCR Systems—another local, family-run business and Heartlandauthorized dealer.
“Five minutes into the presentation I was sold by the technology alone—and the access I could have to the system,” explains the co-owner. “If you know how to work an iPhone, you know how to work Heartland’s system.”
Also, the built-in features at no additional cost were a huge deciding factor for the brothers.
Ryan Cobb, a JCR Systems employee and St. Mary’s local Heartland representative, was also a large part of the draw. Unlike other point-of-sale providers, Heartland is the only partner who offers local, on-site support. Heartland believes having someone available who knows you, your business and the area is critical to a business’s success.
“Ryan’s a very easygoing guy. Very reliable. He knows the system inside and out. And if I have an issue? I can text him and he’ll be right out to fix it,” says Nammour.
Heartland’s built-in loyalty program was another game-changing factor for St. Mary’s. Nammour feels it’s helped the chain on its mission to make customers feel like family.
“The loyalty program is big. We like being able to give back to our regulars,” who make up almost 85% of the business, he explains. “We now have almost 1,800 people in our loyalty program.”
It also allows St. Mary’s staff to get to know their customers even better. The servers know who’s a repeat patron as well as their history with the establishment, making it easy to give a more personalized dining experience.
Furthermore, Heartland’s streamlined and customized routing system not only helps the kitchen with time management—making sure each course is perfectly timed—but the flexible character count also enables the servers to better communicate order modifications with the back of the house during peak business hours.
So, the servers are less stressed, the kitchen is more prepared and most importantly—the customer experience is an extremely polished one. This new streamlined operation also gives the owners back the time they need to focus on treating their patrons like family.
“We definitely feel that Heartland has the same core values as we do—it’s how they treat their customers. There’s always that personal touch,” says Nammour.
He adds, “The biggest thing in business is finding someone you can trust. We went with Heartland because it makes our lives a lot easier.”
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