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Pros & Cons of Revel POS: Analysis of a Leading Restaurant Management Solution

Category: B2B News
What are the pros and cons of Revel?
The pros and cons of Revel include its integrated restaurant management solution with a point-of-sale (POS) system core and it, being exclusively iPad-based, resulting in a seamless system. However, the latter is also one of its limitations, unable to accommodate Android users.

If you own a restaurant or, maybe, a chain of several locations, you know that you need to go all in. You need to get every process optimized. And, hopefully, you’d get every detail right. Unlike more established competitors, you have a smaller margin of error. You have more to lose. What you need is a platform that can help you manage both backend and frontend processes easily. Is Revel that kind of restaurant management software?

In this article, we will examine some pros and cons of Revel POS. You will know more about this comprehensive solution down to what makes it tick, and what doesn’t. Does relying on an iPad-based system make sense? Is its pricing worth the features? Can it be customized to my workflow? This and more will be easily answered once you’re done reading our expert’s review guide.

Revel pros and cons

Point-of-sale (POS) systems help you automate frontend and backend processes. You can manage seemingly separate processes such as inventory, employee schedules, and orders under one comprehensive application. The benefits of POS systems for businesses outweigh the cost of not having any.

This is the reason why the adoption of modern cloud-based POS systems has significantly increased. The restaurant market penetration is at 95% for food trucks and 35% for full-service restaurants. If you don’t plan to follow the trend, you might just get left behind. It is an arms race. So, you don’t want to be outgunned by competitors, especially as experts predict the start of contraction in the U.S. restaurant industry in the coming years.

Cloud POS Penetration in the Restaurant Market (2018)

35%

Full-service restaurants

95%

Food trucks

Source: ReformingRetail

Designed by

However, there are many types of POS systems. Not all of them are for you. Some are strictly for point-of-sale. Some are dedicated POS systems for retail stores. Other systems like Revel offer a suite of tools for comprehensive restaurant management providing more support.

Not all point-of-sale systems are created equal but, usually, all POS systems carry generic capabilities. Common features include the elimination of arithmetic errors, the ability for real-time monitoring, cutting down service times and secure payment processing. Some POS solutions also feature online ordering that will help restaurants address one of the most common problems faced by restaurants.

What is Revel POS?

Revel dashboard

Revel is billed as an iPad POS system and platform. It mainly caters to single-site restaurants and small chains that are ready for growth. This restaurant management software enables business owners to streamline their day-to-day operations and improve efficiency. Leveraging iPad’s ease-of-use and familiarity, Revel allows you and your team to execute critical processes through a very intuitive device. 

Revel POS is mainly offered in two tiers. The first tier is called Revel Essentials. This is the subscription that caters to small business owners and franchise operators. The suite of solutions ranges from ingredient-level inventory management to employee management. It is complete with real-time monitoring, analytics, and reporting features. Secure and flexible payment processing tools are part of the package.  The second is the Enterprise tier for larger chains that need standardized workflows. Currently, there are dozens of customers who use Revel POS Enterprise to manage their 50+ locations. 

If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for Revel free demo here.

Revel Systems POS

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Revel Systems POS won our Expert's Choice Award for 2019

Our score
8.9
User satisfaction
98%

The platform is deployed with customizable technology. This means you can sign up with Revel and use it on a set of compatible hardware that fits your budget and liking. Many of the setups are suggested by the provider. Revel, of course, runs exclusively on Apple iPads but you can connect this to many types of printers, payment devices, and even self-serve kiosks. Revel POS can scale with your business. You can start with a lean-and-mean setup and add more features plus hardware as required by your growth. Furthermore, Revel professional services team members can help you with your setup by customizing it, training your staff, and providing personalized support as you grow. 

Revel investors include Intuit, the famous financial solutions company, and the private equity firm Welsch, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS). Happy customers include Proposition Chicken, Cinnabon, and Curry Up Now. 

Revel POS Key Features:

  1. Customizable deployment
  2. Comprehensive Management Solutions
  3. Ingredient-level Inventory
  4. Reporting and Analytics
  5. Point-to-point encrypted payments
  1. Mobile order takers
  2. Flexible payments
  3. EMV compliant
  4. QuickBooks Integration
  5. Easy check-out with offline mode

Revel Advantages & Disadvantages

Customizable Deployment

Revel caters to a variety of foodservice businesses. Also, it is being used for quick service food joints such as bakeries, food trucks, pizza delivery or a coffee shop. If you own or operate a chain of restaurants & bars, Revel has you covered too. Features such as mobile order takers can help increase average guest checks per day as it expedites the ordering process. Revel is also being used to manage retail businesses and even events. It can complement your preferred event management software. With a self-serve kiosk and customer display systems (CDS), it can help you create better customer experiences may they be for ticket sales or for retail sales. 

Revel user permission

You can customize your admin permissions and accounts and build menus and create schedules in Revel.

Revel is an iPad-based solution at its core but it is flexible enough to be used for different POS needs. If you own a food truck, you can just have a very lean deployment using only your iPad and a receipt printer. Also, if you operate a single-site restaurant, you can add more compatible hardware to improve processes and customer experiences. Furthermore, you can add payment processing devices, CDS and even self-service kiosks. You can also roll out more multiple mobile order takers. The same deployment principle is applicable if you are organizing an event or running a chain of locations. All you have to do is deploy the hardware and customize Revel to fit your needs. 

One apparent downside is that Revel is so flexible that the pricing depends upon what you need. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a comprehensive solution that is designed to be deployed according to your needs. A fixed-price plan is simply impossible and this is not to everyone’s liking. But if you like the prospect of having a restaurant management solution customized to your needs, Revel is something that you should consider. A free demo is available to get more acquainted with the interface.

Management Solutions

Revel gives you a 360-degree view of your business processes. It is not just your ordinary POS system but a restaurant management software at its heart of hearts. It integrates front-end processes with backend processes allowing you to operate your business smoothly. Revel is fitted with many management solutions. Everything can be found in your Revel Management Console. From there, you can view financial & management statistics, build your menu, manage employees and even set up taxes. 

With the Product Management and Menu Building feature, you can create a menu according to your customers’ demands and needs. You can import your menu through spreadsheets and edit them directly in your POS. Furthermore, this feature allows you to offer special discounts, combos, or any other promotion. 

The Kitchen Management tool allows for a Kitchen Display System (KDS) that syncs up with front-of-house orders. All orders are displayed in a queue and will only disappear after they are fulfilled. This can eliminate the use of papers, human errors, and improve both accuracy and efficiency. Order notes like requests for extras (e.g. cheese and dips) are included as well. For more specialized kitchens, you can send specific orders to specific stations (e.g. prep, grill, expeditor, etc.).  

With the Employee Management module, you can manage your employees from the on-boarding process to payroll. It is a comprehensive tool for your labor operations. With this, you can modify schedules for individual employees. You will be able to pull up important information easily like shifts and wages. Through this module, schedules can be directly emailed to your staff. Furthermore, you can assign roles and give permissions to every team member. You can utilize card swipes and unique user passcodes to manage attendance more efficiently and securely. 

Inventory management is made easy by Revel. It tracks and updates your inventory in real-time while generating automatic stock alerts to keep you in the know. Furthermore, your products or items can be further organized in the system. You can add categories and even get a granular display of them complete with size and colors. For food businesses, this even goes way down into the ingredient level. In this way, you will be more confident that your kitchen never runs out of critical ingredients.

Monitoring and Insights

This goes the same for your inventory and labor. Revel keeps track of your most profitable items and lets you view the costs vs. profits of all your items. Its labor reporting feature allows you to track employee productivity and costs. You can measure this against your revenue so you can make profitable decisions for the future. 

These reports are accessible in your Management Console or through your Revel Insights, the Revel app for your smartphone. With this mobile app, you can stay close to your business wherever you are. 

POS Processes

Revel helps you manage your point-of-sale processes from cash management to delivery management. For restaurants, one cool feature is the table management module. In it, you can draw your floor plan and assign orders to seats. This gives your staff a better representation of what goes on the floor and they can avoid food mixups. The tables on your virtual floor plan can even have color-coded timers set up so you would lessen service gaps. 

Revel table service

Revel’s Table Management module.

The platform also has Mobile Order Takers. Basically, its an app module for your front-of-the-house staff. Through it, you can keep them updated on menu changes and promotions. This also speeds up processes making your restaurant more efficient. 

If you operate a quick service or a busy fast-food chain, Mobile Order Takers can help you cut down the delay caused by long lines. You will never lose sales or customers when you have this in the hands of competent staff. Also, you can put up a self-service kiosk to expedite the order process. Furthermore, you can also set up a grab-and-go menu for those in a hurry with this. This, of course, syncs with your overall system and, when used wisely, can cut down on service times. 

If you do deliveries, Revel POS also has a delivery management module. You will be able to manage and track all your orders from your POS. With this, you can create delivery routes and regions so you can provide customers and staff with realistic delivery windows. You can even monitor your delivery personnel on a digital map. You can view their cash on hand and plotted delivery routes.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is very important. Every business touchpoint affects this from the smile of your front-of-house staff to available payment options. Revel can help improve customer experiences with customer display systems (CDS). These can show your menu, promotions and even a transparent breakdown of their transaction.

Your customers can even tip using the CDS. This also helps with cutting service times. We all know that we all hate waiting in long lines. Smart use of this and also the self-service kiosk can smoothen service flow improving overall customer experience. 

Revel menu board

With Revel, you can set up self-service kiosks for your grab-and-go menu.

Moreover, we all understand that when operating a food business, one always needs to keep things interesting. There are the dreaded lean hours, lean days, and even lean months for some. Customers’ experiences need to be very positive to keep them coming back. With Revel and business savvy, of course, you can rise above these unfortunate predicaments using pull promotions. 

You can dish out gift cards to customers. Moreover, you can even set up a loyalty program and Revel will have you supported. All you need is a good plan, compatible barcode scanners, and efficiently using your POS system. 

On a broader note, Revel can be a part of an overarching CRM or CEM strategy, earning the trust of your existing customers so they stay loyal, even as they spread a good word about your restaurant.

Professional Services

Revel POS has dedicated Account Managers that can help you deploy your Revel POS, guide implementation, and even proactively provide support. This can be very helpful especially when you are on the Enterprise plan. Through this service, you will get in touch with a Revel Client Success Manager. Representatives will guide you from your first subscription to training, and from implementing to finding more revenue streams. 

Account managers act as your liaison to Revel and have a consultative approach. They will help you optimize the use of your POS system for your success. 

Financial Tools

You can also improve customer service and experience with Revel’s payment flexibility feature. Furthermore, customers may have different payment preferences from time to time. Like, if they dine alone, they may pay in cash or via credit card. If they are with friends, they may want to split the bill. Revel allows for this flexibility. Split bill payment comes easy. You can let customers split the bill evenly. They can also choose to pay per item. It does not only make their experience more pleasant but also that of your staff. 

Payments are so flexible that you can even run a store credit program or even open a bar tab. 

Almost every other business out there uses QuickBooks. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, backs Revel financially. As a result, Revel interfaces seamlessly with QuickBooks. Therefore, you are able to copy your POS data to QuickBooks every day to make your accounting easy. Furthermore, you can make inventory adjustments, sync data, and manage payroll on Quickbooks too using Revel data. The same goes for inventory. You will spend less time in manual accounting, reduce errors, and you can spend more time growing your business thanks to automation. 

Moreover, Revel is Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) compliant. It follows the gold standard for card payment processing. EMV compliant cards have computer chips in them that create unique codes for every transaction. This makes them impossible to counterfeit. As a result, it protects you and your customers. 

There is also an Always On mode that protects you even when your internet connection goes down. Revel’s hybrid architecture enables it to run uninterrupted. It will continue to process all transactions and track everything on your local network. What’s more, is that swipe payments can be taken offline! They will just be automatically queued up once your connection is ready. Others cannot do this. Revel lets you. 

The Always On mode may feel more dangerous for more risk-averse operators. If you want to be more conservative, you can always set limits on how many offline transactions you will take daily should interruptions happen. 

Revel reporting

Revel’s Management Console gives you a detailed yet holistic view of your restaurant business. You can access a set of management solution modules from your main dashboard.

Should an iPad-based POS be an Issue?

We have discussed some pros and cons of Revel above. Now, let us expound a bit to help you out whether Revel is right for you. 

This will surely take some software prospectors aback. Many users prefer to use Android devices and they have all the right to do so.  One point that needs considering is that the iPad for POS (and for business in general) should be used just for business.

If you operate a family food truck, it’s not recommended that you use the family iPad for your POS. If you own a single-site restaurant, the tablets you use for POS and for taking orders should be dedicated devices for their particular uses. There should be no games and preferably no other apps installed (other productivity apps included).

If you agree with this, maybe an iPad-based POS system is no issue. So, if you are not into Apple, maybe Revel is not for you too. 

Another thing that some users may not be a fan of is the quote-based subscription. This is the case for many quote-based products and services. Of course, many of us understand that some services need to be tailor-made to your needs. This includes their costs. Revel belongs to this class of software.

If you like the features of Revel so far, maybe you should not let a quote-based subscription deter you to investigate further. You can contact Revel representatives to find the most fitting deployment for you. 

Furthermore, its customizability is also its biggest pro. This is because flexibility and scalability come with it. If you start out with a single site, you can grow with Revel and expand to more chains. All you need to do is access more modules and add more hardware.

The user interface is very intuitive and straightforward. Rookie staff will be able to get it in hours. Managers can also enjoy the comprehensive tools that it offers. You can manage both frontend and back end processes under one hub.

From your inventory to your deliveries, Revel can have you covered. With a vast array of deployment setups, you can increase customer satisfaction and expedite services with mobile order takers, customer display systems, and self-service kiosks. 

All in all, Revel POS should definitely be on your shortlist if you own a single-site restaurant or operate a small chain that is ready to grow. So, you can start with a lean-and-mean setup and add more capabilities should the need arise. If you are interested, you can investigate Revel further when you sign up for Revel free demo here.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

Best Restaurant Management Software of 2019

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