Our Revel Systems POS review will take a deep dive into one of the nation’s most popular modern iPad POS platforms. If you’re looking to upgrade your current system or are opening a new restaurant, it’s essential to choose the perfect point of sale partner for your business. With a wealth of excellent options to choose from, comparing multiple point-of-sale providers can help you make the right decision.
So, is the Revel Systems point of sale product the best choice for your restaurant or small business? Let’s take a look at Revel Systems pros and cons and explore what this unique platform offers!
Extremely easy to use
Tons of added features, such as gift cards and loyalty programs
Quickly build menus utilizing a variety of tools
Flexible payment processor options
Integration with QuickBooks and other platforms
Hybrid model — cloud-based and locally installed
Manage staff, track inventory, and view reporting data from offsite locations
Works on iPads
Doesn’t work with Android
Prices can be quite high
Reports of glitches
Some clients had customer support complaints
Billed annually and requires 3-year processing contract for best price
Overview of Revel Systems
Revel Systems is an Atlanta-based POS provider that first started conducting business in 2010. At present, the company is owned by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Their software app is operated exclusively on iPads — which gives you the freedom to take your touch screen POS with you on-the-go.
Revel Systems offers a range of different features including gift cards, loyalty programs, splitting bills, accessible menu building, discounts, and a host of other benefits. You can also easily view and manage your reporting and inventory data from an offsite location. If you’re managing multiple sites, Revel Systems can make it much more manageable.
You can choose to purchase your hardware directly through Revel Systems, or you can venture out to buy the products yourself. While Revel Systems does have a general POS platform for retail, for our Revel POS review, we’ll be taking a look at their restaurant-specific service. Let’s take a more in-depth look at everything this company offers its clients.
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Revel Systems Pricing
Revel Systems software starts at $99 per month, per terminal. Revel isn’t overly transparent about their pricing. Revel’s monthly plans start at $99 per month, but it appears this might be if you’re ordering multiple terminals and only if you’re using their credit card processing services. So to get the best price, their software fees are billed annually and requires Revel processing with a 3-year contract. To get a quote for your business, you’ll have to contact them directly.
Summary of Revel System costs
Starts at $99 per month, per terminal (Billed Annually)
Professional installation – $649
Requires Revel Processing & 3-year contract
You can also opt to have a professional installation for all your hardware and software — the price for this starts at $649. While this is quite steep, it can be a good idea if you need some onboarding help with your new POS software and hardware.
Pricing is one of the most critical components of any new POS system. This price point of Revel is on the higher end of the POS spectrum but is still relatively affordable for small business owners. While many modern point-of-sale systems help you save time and money, if the monthly price is too high, it might do the opposite. Also, keep in mind you’ll still need to invest in the various hardware products like iPads, stands, printers, and networking components you need to get up and operational!
Build menus that are easy to navigate for you and your staff — this includes a spreadsheet upload function and a range of other convenient building tools
Manage your restaurant from on offsite location — you can manage multiple restaurants or sites at the same time from a central location
View in-depth reporting data and information in ‘real-time’ — it’s a great way to stay on top of your business’s performance, and you don’t need to go into your physical restaurant to view the information you need
Easily split bills, manage tabs, create discounts, offer promotions, and more — it’s a very convenient system for staff and customers
View your reporting data and information from a mobile phone if you’re not in your restaurant
You can also manage inventory in ‘real-time’ for any location — this can help you avoid shortages of items and improve your customer service
Easy-to-use kitchen tools that can help you update your kitchen processes — connect your front room staff to your kitchen with automatic updates and other benefits
Easily installs on iPads — you can also purchase a range of accessories and kiosks directly from Revel Systems as well
Build a loyalty program directly through Revel Systems — this can help you increase customer engagement
Offer gift cards to customers directly via the POS system
Tableside and mobile ordering
Integration with accounting software and online ordering systems that can help you streamline a range of different features
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
Unless you’re using an extremely old POS system, it’s hard to find anything that is entirely locally installed. Revel Systems uses a cloud-based mobile POS platform via software that is installed on your iPad device – in some ways; you could consider this a hybrid product. If your device crashes, all your data is securely stored on a cloud.
Another benefit you find with Revel Systems is that it doesn’t need an internet connection to operate. While some cloud-based systems require a constant connection, you can still use this platform if your internet drops out. You can even process sales and credit card payments using Revel’s Always on Mode if your internet goes down.
Data Reporting Features
Revel offers extensive reporting and analytics, so you always have a complete snapshot of your business. You can access your reporting from anywhere to track your inventory, customer insights, and sales data to help make smart business decisions. Like most cloud-based systems, you have access to sales reporting, inventory reporting, and labor reporting from any computer with an internet connection and with a reporting app on your smartphone.
Industries Served & Business Size
You can use the Revel Systems POS platform for a range of different industries. The company does offer a general point of sale system that can be used for retail or other niches. For this review, we’ve been taking a look at the hospitality offering from Revel Systems.
Revel Systems is excellent for small and mid-sized restaurants. The company also offers plenty of specific features geared towards quick service restaurants, bars, table service, cafés, pizza shops, bakeries, delis, and more. While it’s best for small and mid-sized businesses, the ability to view multiple locations at once can provide more significant business owners with some robust capabilities
The iPad-based nature of the hardware means it’s easy to be mobile with this POS and you can take orders tableside. If you’re looking for a flexible iPad POS system, this is certainly a top option.
Ease of Use
If you’re aiming to invest in a new point of sale system, one of the first features you should be prioritizing is ease of use. The easier and more user-friendly your software is, the more time you will save. It also means that training new staff members is much more effective.
Fortunately, this is a major strong point for Revel Systems. It’s easy to build menus with a variety of different tools; it’s easy to navigate; it’s easy to split tabs and manage bills, and it’s easy to manage staff profiles.
The only downside about the Revel Systems’ interface is that it’s almost too minimalist. While this is a preferred design feature for some people, especially Apple product users, others may find it annoying.
At present, you’ll only be able to use the Revel Systems’ point of sale system with an Apple iPad. While this is a convenient hardware platform for many people, it’s a limitation if you prefer to use Android devices or tablets. Still, the familiar touch screen and nature of an iPad can make taking orders and processing transactions extremely easy.
You can choose to purchase your own iPad or buy one directly from Revel Systems. Revel Systems also offers a range of additional accessories that can help you upgrade your point of sale system. Printers, kiosks, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and more are all available through Revel Systems. We recommend getting all your hardware through the POS company so that everything works together as the software company intended. Revel offers hardware and service leasing from Apple Financial Services.
If you need help with installation, you can purchase an on-boarding service for $649.
The Revel onboarding services include:
Management Console Training
Payments Set Up
Due to the complexity of setting up a new system, it’s highly recommended to take advantage of the on-boarding service with any POS company that offers it.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Revel Systems kiosk is heavily branded. If you don’t want ‘Revel Systems’ plastered all over your kiosks, you might want to purchase an independent setup. You can buy your own hardware accessories, but make sure to check that they’re compatible before you make any purchases.
Integrations & Add-ons
If you’re looking to improve your Revel Systems point of sale platform, you can also take advantage of a range of add-ons. The add-ons available with Revel Systems include loyalty programs, gift cards, additional hardware, eCommerce and online ordering tools, employee management tools, mobile payment processors, customer display, kitchen display system, cryptocurrency payment processors, and accounting software (Quickbooks) as a few examples.
Revel has all the integrations you’d expect from a full-service or quick-service restaurant POS. Using these integrations can help you take your Revel POS to the next level!
Compatible Credit Card Companies
Revel is now pushing their own credit card processing service called Real Advantage. They advertise “transparent flat fee” on their website, but there is no mention of what those transparent flat fees are. You have to request a quote from their website to get the rates.
Real Advantage includes:
Apply Pay Ready
In House Dedicated Support Team
All Card Types Included
Online Statements & Reporting
Fortunately, you’re not restricted to a single payment processor when you decide to work with Revel Systems. While many POS systems try to lock you into a merchant agreement, you can stay flexible with your payment processor at Revel Systems.
In terms of payment gateways, you can choose between USAePay and FreedomPay. There are a wide variety of processors at your disposal as well, including Tyro, Moneris, WorldPay, FirstData, Heartland, and more. You can always check their site to see the latest gateways and payment processors on offer!
Note: Card swipes purchased through Revel Systems are individually encrypted for each gateway and cannot be reused if clients decide to change gateways.
Another payment feature to keep in mind is Revel Systems’ support for EMV payments. Revel Systems’ EMV compliance can help you reduce your liability if fraudulent payments occur in your business.
Customer Service and Support
You need your point of sale device to work at all times. Having a robust customer support team is one of the best ways to fix problems when they arise. Fortunately, Revel Systems’ point of sale platform offers 24/7 customer support to its clients — this is a feature that helps provide peace-of-mind.
It’s also critical to look at what other customers think of a POS system before you invest your business’s money. While all point of sale platforms have complaints, sifting through different complaints can help you remain aware of problems that might arise with your provider or system.
Some customers complain about the installation process — it appears some Revel Systems installers do a terrible job of setting up the platform. It also seems that the customer service team is occasionally hard to get answers from if you have a severe problem. Lastly, some also complain that the system gets ‘glitchy.’
While these complaints are valid, it’s essential to make sure that everything is set up and working correctly before the installation team leaves. You can also request a free demo before you commit to purchasing the product.
There’s plenty to like about Revel Systems. The company offers an excellent point of sale product if you’re set on using an iPad-based system.
You’ll benefit from a wide range of features that can help you engage with your customers and quickly perform transactions. If you’re looking for a restaurant POS system that can help you build menus, manage staff, create loyalty programs, and more, this is an option to consider.
As a business owner, you’re able to view all the reporting data you need from anywhere, as well as integrate it with QuickBooks and other platforms.
Flexible payment gateway and processing options also provide you with more control of your transactions, but it appears you’ll need to sign up with Revel Real Advantage payment processing to get the best price on the software.
The overall system (software and hardware) is on the higher-end, and there are cheaper options available on the market with similar features. You can see some of our other POS reviews here.
The only real downsides come down to cost and some customer service issues. Some customers have also reported glitch issues and trouble getting in touch with customer support, so that’s something to be mindful of in your consideration of this product.
As always, we recommend trying before buying. So the good news is you can request a free demo to try out their software before you make any investments!