Revel POS was founded in 2010 by Lisa Falzone and Chris Ciabarra. It is a modern, user-friendly Apple iPad POS. Revel began beta testing in the fall of 2011 with a number of Bay Area businesses and attracted the attention of early-stage venture capital fund DCM.
Revel POS has obtained the support of investors such as Carson, Welsh, and Anderson & Stowe. Revel won the Best iPad Business App of the Year Award at the Macworld/iWorld event in January 2012. Since then, the system received SFBT Tech Awards’ “Best Enterprise Technology” and Business News Daily’s “Gold Award for Top iPad POS Systems.”
At present, Revel has hundreds of employees and international offices in Italy, Australia, England, and Lithuania. The company has over 25,000 terminals that are being used actively and a solid reputation as a stable, reliable POS provider. Their clients include Smoothie King and Goodwill, but they have plenty to offer small and medium-size enterprises as well.
Revel has an edge over the competition thanks to its ever-expanding features, services, and integrations. Some of the best ones include offline functionality mode, remote support, a partnership and integration with QuickBooks Integration, and an intelligent reporting suite.
Revel’s prices depend on the setup and industry of the client. The company offers industry-specific software packages for a fixed amount per month. The software license is included in the subscription. Industries range from retail and restaurants to smaller-scale food trucks and ice cream shops. Pricing is flexible and broken down per terminal.
The company has also begun offering Revel as a Service (RaaS) pricing, which includes a minimal upfront costs. With RaaS, clients pay a monthly fee covering monthly hosting charges and replacement of malfunctioning or defective hardware at no extra cost.
Each subscription package includes unlimited data storage and security, 24/7 live support, unlimited software updates, and a QuickBooks integration.
Revel’s POS is both web-Based and locally installed. You can run it locally through your Apple iPad and sync all data to the cloud. Even if you lose Internet access, the POS will continue to function. Payment authorization for credit cards may not be possible while the Internet is down, so it can be risky to accept cards without an Internet connection.
Revel works well with quick service businesses and restaurants, and many of their integrations target these two industries. The software has expanded a great deal of late and is now a viable option for salons, retail businesses, mobile businesses, grocery stores, pizza and coffee shops, and niche shops. Revel has adapted its software to encompass almost every industry, but it may take some time to adapt the software to your business’s specific needs.
Revel Systems is most suitable for large businesses because it can manage up to 500,000 SKUs and multiple locations. It’s also optimized for mid-sized businesses, especially those struggling to compete with their larger counterparts, since it offers a plethora of applications and modular software that make it possible to customize the system to your needs.
The system is solid and customizable, and as such takes a great deal of time and energy to set up. This is why it may not be suitable for a very small establishment. Most small businesses couldn’t take advantage of most of the advanced features.
Once you manage to get it going, the software is relatively easy to use. The back end is clarified by a series of training videos, and the front end is very intuitive and easy to navigate.
Revel requires employees to log in with a pin number to access permissions and unique settings. A touch screen displays a product matrix on one side with order tallies on the opposite side. Descriptions are optional. Amounts and modifiers are easy to add, as are discounts and additional payment options. The Revel POS can also be used as a customer-facing display or kiosk.
Revel is designed for easy navigation through everything from staff to inventory management, but it takes time to get the hang of the system. It takes some training to learn how to perform advanced functions, or even achieve basic familiarity with how the system operates for that matter. Owning and running a business is not easy, and you shouldn’t expect to be able to set up this very complex POS system in a minimum amount of time. However, most of the basic functions are pretty easy to navigate and use. Exporting data is simple. It is easy to manage employee permissions. You can add, modify or remove items directly from the dashboard.
Revel is compatible exclusively with Apple iOS devices (iPad Pro, Mini 3 and 4, Air and iPad Air 2). The system features full hardware bundles and will work with almost all barcode scanners. You don’t have to buy the hardware from Revel, but we do recommend checking their preconfigured hardware list on the website to make sure the equipment you get will actually work with the system.
Adding and managing inventory is very simple – all you need is an item and price. Other fields, such as SKU and cost, are available as well. A style matrix is available for simple mass entry of inventory items that differ only slightly and only by color, size, or style. Moreover, you can use a template to import inventory. The system can track inventory per ingredient. On the ingredient level, food cost reports are also available. Low stock items show up in red on your inventory page with cool reorder buttons. Revel can even cope with retail fuel sales with wet stock management.
Cashiers can tap on menu categories with modifiers and drop-downs of items to select. Alternatively, you can enter barcode numbers into the system for scanning items. Multiple tax rates, surcharges, discounts, and service fees can be set to automatically add or add manually at the time of sale. Cashiers can set orders to-go, repeat items, for delivery, enter discounts, remove items, enter special requests, and add quantities in the “edit item” screen. Naturally, the POS can also void payments, split bills, allow for tips, print/reprint guest receipts, email receipts, and enter rewards card numbers. You can go back to an order that has been sent to the kitchen and add additional items, sending only the newly added items to the kitchen. Of course, items that have already been sent cannot be edited or deleted. They can be discounted, repeated, voided or increased in quantity.
The Revel QuickBooks Integration transfers data from the system to QuickBooks accounts automatically. This helps streamline the bookkeeping process and sync sales, purchase order, inventory, and accounting data into QuickBooks Online. Users can see total sales, discounts, and refunds created on the Revel POS because sales summary information is transferred to QuickBooks each day. Employee schedule and payroll information is also sent to QuickBooks, as well as purchase order and inventory adjustments. Revel updates sync automatically. For the setup, the system will need to do some mapping to synchronize your data.
Revel can not only create POs and associate inventory with vendors, but also help you manage when stock items come and are added to your inventory. If vendors only send you a portion of your stock, you can notate partial orders and finalize orders once the order is complete.
All cash management functions are conveniently stored under the manager selection of the settings tab: over/under till, batch processing, and printable quick-view reports like total credit, cash, check or gift certificate for the night, time management and items sold.
Each staff member has his or her own unique and secure swipe card or PIN-activated login, which enables you to track time, employee activity and performance within the system. Employee reports can be created based on sales volume, number of discounts and voids, and productivity. You can customize access parameters per employee responsibilities. Revel can also handle employee time scheduling.
The system tracks customer purchases as well as all required customer information such as name, phone number, address, and email. You can export and use this info to create mass marketing campaigns or cross-sell other stock. It is even possible to customize table reservations by adding customer preferences and send text notifications as soon as the customer’s table is ready.
Revel has some creative features to make ordering easier, including tableside ordering, the already mentioned customer facing displays and mobile and online ordering. Most recently, Revel added the option to play a video on the customer facing display whenever it is idle.
Entering payment or sending an order over iPad transmits the information to the kitchen display system. This way servers can see if an order is in progress or completed. The kitchen view will display the order plus any changes, the time it came in, the name of the server, the name of the customer name, and the status of the order (whether it has been completed or not). The server touches “completed” in expedite view and clears the order off the screen once the food is taken out.
Customers can place their order and pay all on their own using the iPad POS as a kiosk. They can browse menus, place orders with their name or select or edit items and quantities. Orders can be completed by paying cash or with credit, debit, or gift card.
Revel is integrated with digital menu boards – the system and your menu displays can exchange data and communicate. Your digital display updates whenever you update your menu in the Revel POS.
Revel’s software, hardware, and network are all PCI-DSS compliant. Sensitive credit card information is always encrypted. The company’s data centers are PCI compliant and SAS 70 Type II certified. All data is regularly backed up, and single location businesses have their own database.
This system features pretty extensive reports, which are easy to read. Some of the dozens of reports available include sales summaries, transaction details, ingredients sold, available/used gift cards, PLU report, total credit transactions, total voids, percentage of labor against sales, refunded/exchanged items, and employee check out report. With real-time tracking, you get instant access to sales, staff, and location data. You can export all the data you need.
Multi-Store Functionality – Revel is designed to handle a franchise or a single store.
Revel POS offers a card-less loyalty program among other integrations. Their add-ons include e-commerce, online and mobile ordering, integration with Shopify, Kosmos Central, open dining, Zuppler and Chowly, employee management, DTT, Homebase, Deputy, mobile payment processors and mobile forms of payment, payment via Apple Pay, Braintree, Zapper and PayPal, and payment using Bitcoin. Their loyalty programs include LoyalTree, Pepper, Synergy World, Inc., and LevelUp. As far as accounting is concerned, it is highly convenient that they are integrated with QuickBooks Online. Revel is also integrated with Xero, but this option is not available in the US.
Revel uses the gateway payment processor USAePay as well as NewTek and FreedomPay. Other payment processors include Tyro, Mercury Payment Systems, First Data, Moneris, and Adyen among others.
Revel offers 24/7 support to all customers in a number of ways. These include by phone, by email and online. They also offer remote support. To reach them by phone, you need to call the main line, listed on the website. You can email support directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit a request using their customer support form, also available at their website. Some commonly reported issues are listed on their support page. On this page, you can submit a support request or simply search for what you need.
Remote support is a great option if you want to troubleshoot issues directly without any confusion. A technician can access your POS remotely to diagnose issues.
You’ll need to contact the company to receive on-site technical support. Revel charges additional fees for this. You can view them at support.revelsystems.com.
Revel also has a website for training and videos, which they call Revel University. The company has a blog, which is updated regularly, and it is quite interesting. In addition, they have a large number of social media accounts that you can visit, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
There are hundreds of reviews of Revel POS, which are overwhelmingly positive. Not all of them are positive, however. This is normal for all major companies and, after all, hundreds of merchants have tried Revel POS. We will list the most frequent and recent issues and complaints about the system below.
There have been some complaints about Revel POS, in particular regarding the QuickBooks integration. The integration itself isn’t a problem, but the technical support for QuickBooks issues could definitely use some improvement. Technicians should be more informed and better prepared to assist merchants with issues that arise with QuickBooks, especially for a part of their business such as accounting, which is of paramount importance to any company. Below is a typical review by a user who had issues with this integration:
“The troubleshooters don’t seem to have a clear understanding of how the integration is supposed to work as evidenced by conflicting information I received regarding the inability of Revel to push inventory data to QBO. In the end, one of their reps simply admitted to me that it doesn’t work and that they need to do some rework on the entire system.”
As we noted above, initial setup can be long. The initial setup of inventory, menus, and products can also be tedious, mainly for businesses with unique processes. Systems as complex as Revel, designed to fulfill the requirements of many different types and sizes of businesses, are bound to have such issues. This complexity means there are going to be a lot of settings and options to make your way through. Many of the problems that have been described by users are due to the fact that these same users have not taken the time to become familiar with the product before diving into operation. You’re going to need to spend plenty of time familiarizing yourself with the system and the various technical support options available to you in order to get the most out of a product designed to be adaptable to your specific business, because you’re probably going to need to use them regularly, at least in the beginning.
This is a very common problem, particularly concerning system updates. Some users have complained that the company makes updates before they’ve been fully tested for glitches. The vast majority of clients do not experience many problems with the system. It can crash now and then, but if it does, it is back, up and running in no time. A window will pop up, asking you to describe what you were doing when the system crashed.
The Better Business Bureau has not only accredited, but also given Revel an A+ rating. Most of the positive reviews of this POS system involve the offline mode, versatility, adaptability and constant improvements. Below are some more details.
Also known as “Always On” mode, this feature makes it possible to continue working even if your Internet is down or is just plain slow. This feature allows you to continue accepting cash and card payments. It is still relatively unique among POS providers.
Revel is designed thoughtfully and works well for many merchants. Its cloud-based functionality is a welcome alternative to the more rigid functionality of computer based POS systems, making it flexible, versatile and easy adaptable to fast-paced businesses whose needs keep changing.
This POS system undergoes constant improvements. It did away with its upfront software license fee and expanded and improved its inventory options. In place of the upfront software license fee, there is a manageable monthly subscription fee with license costs included. In the past, there were more complaints about the technical support, most of which were due to it being too slow. Revel has seen some improvement in this field as well.
The company reports a customer satisfaction rating of over 93% for hardware, software, and logistical issues. They have recently stepped up their game in this arena even though they haven’t always had a great reputation for technical support. Revel has taken steps to improve customer relations, including the recent redesigning of their suite of training videos.
If you’re a small enterprise, Revel is certainly scalable for practically all sizes. Depending on the revenue you generate, you may find the monthly subscription fee too high. You also may be dissatisfied with the sheer effort required to set up many features and settings, some of which you may never need.
However, if you’re planning on growing quickly, we would suggest avoiding a transition from a system like ShopKeep to one like Revel, designed for larger businesses. Ultimately, Revel should have everything you need to run your business if you’ve got the revenue for one of the more expensive cloud-based solutions.
Revel is definitely on par with systems like ERPLY where cloud-based POS systems for a restaurant or hospitality business are concerned. It offers high functionality without being restrictive to people without a degree in computer engineering.
No other comparable system has a kitchen view, kiosk mode, table listing functions and expedite view. Regular retail businesses will find that Revel has a great variety of offerings. It is a reliable, solid option. Make sure you check out our other POS system reviews before making a decision.