Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with a POS, as well as integrated inventory management, customer management and social media management.
Revel offers a data analytics application that tracks hourly sales, order history, payment summaries, product mix and sales summaries and presents the data in reports and graphs. Other features include managing loyalty programs and gift cards, mobile ordering and barcode support.
Business owners can control user access with with unique user IDs, passwords and swipe cards. Inventory management tools connect in-store and e-commerce channels to provide real-time inventory data. CRM features let users capture customer data and order history.
Revel offers support through training videos, live chat and over the phone. Integration with third-party partners like Apple Pay and QuickBooks are also available.
Michael U. Especialidad: Comercio minorista Número de empleados: 51-200 empleados
Overall Revel is a total letdown and will be replaced by year end with a better system, lots of things we were promised could be done require using their "Open API" which costs more per month than the entire POS system does for 5 stations. We were not told about the API pricing upfront (or that there was even a cost at all, it was pitched like it was included in the regular fee) just that we could use the API to do everything we told them we needed to do, my project manager informed me of the API pricing during our implementation, when I called out the sales rep for never mentioning the additional cost despite repeated conversations about how critical this was she told me "its not my job to tell you the pricing for the API since that's not my department"
It is also very difficult to impossible to find and load an order in the dashboard by customer. You have to load the customers orders report, find the customer in the list, click show orders, note the order number, then go to the order history report and then you can click through to the order, why isn't the order number under customers order a hyperlink to take me to the order?
They made a systems change to batch process updates to the POS instead of in realtime, we have a custom app that we use for check ins when a customer comes into the store and it adds customers to the revel system so we can link them to a sale and track close rate etc. They used to sync in real time from the dashboard to the stations, after a recent update it takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes for the customers to pull down from the revel dashboard. I have verified they show up on the dashboard instantly as they should, there is just a major delay in syncing back to the iPads now that was not there before the update.
Reporting is very weak in certain areas, you can't view profit by anything other than employee which is worthless if you don't have pay rates loaded which we don't since we aren't using that aspect of the system.
When we receive inventory in the store, we upload it into the revel dashboard via their excel template this works about 75% of the time, the rest of the time it just silently fails, you will never receive any notice that it failed, where it failed etc. So now before I do any uploads, I do an export of what we have immediately before so when it fails I can compare to the inventory after the partial upload to figure out where the import stopped so I can import the rest.
I could keep going but bottom line is if your needs are more than barebones or you are not a restaurant you should look elsewhere for a much better solution.
Overall they have a nice POS interface and it is pretty stable. Their pricing is also pretty good for the base system.
Functions are hard to find
Very much geared towards restaurants, so if you are in another business be prepared to see restaurant specific stuff all over you can't turn off
Material changes to the way things work with zero notice
Can only see profit margin by employee no P&L type report.
Inventory uploads regularly fail with no notice, and no way to tell what was added without doing a manual compare of before and after and trying again with the additional items.
Response: Sarah 30/4/2018
I am truly sorry about your experience and I have shared your feedback with our sales management team, as well as the customer service team.
I am confident that once we get we get a bit more info from you, we will be able to come to a resolution in terms of API and reporting. Our customer service team will be happy to follow up on any outstanding issues you have.
Sarah, Customer Advocacy Manager at Revel
Christian B. Especialidad: Comercio minorista Número de empleados: 13-50 empleados
After months of wrangling with the decision of which system to invest in I cautiously went forward with Revel. 2 terminal system only so if it didn't work out the damages would be minimal. I learned the hard way jumping in with two feet real quick with Clover. (Different business than the one I bought Revel for. The CC processor is really to blame for saying that Clover is a good system for full service restaurants and I'm to blame for not verifying.) That was a disaster. Paying monthly for a pile of stuff I never went live with. Back to Revel. So many negative reviews made me really worried but after so much research, a: it seemed like it was very robust, more than any other cloud based system, something that would be difficult to quickly outgrow, b: relatively cheap entry cost, albeit the most expensive ongoing costs (more on that later), and c: every system turns out to have overwhelming negative reviews by my count.
After reading all the reviews 2 things stuck out to me. One, I was real concerned about the support teams. It was such a common theme amongst so many review sites. Two, I sensed a bit of naivete on many of the negative reviews. After reading between the lines I figured this was a very complex system and one would have to put forth a lot of effort to get it set up and working well for your business. It does not plug and play. It could be but you would be barely scratching the surface of what it is capable of. The lack of support made it seem like someone with little experience with computers and or POS systems should stay far away. We have been live for over a month and I felt compelled to get on here and tell about my experience. Completely exceeded my expectations. To be clear, it has been a challenge getting it all where it is now. We went live 16 days after it arrived in the mail. That's not enough time. My own fault for dragging my feet. Give yourself 30 days. That would be a nice luxury. Plan on adapting it to your business. This system is designed for such a broad spectrum of businesses so don't expect it to be perfect just for you. That will take time. We have so much more tweaking and customizing ahead. Recipe builds, ingredient unit and cost data etc. You will only get out what you put in. The support that comes with the system combined with the fact that you get lifetime updates as the system is improved and having features added makes the monthly cost worth it to me. Thanks to an agent of NY for giving me all the information I needed without any of the typical sales pressures. I will be adding the self serve kiosk sometime this month. Can't wait to bring that exciting feature to our customers.
Basic programming is relatively easy, uploading large amounts of items via excel spreadsheet was great. The support has been awesome! We have made a few mistakes on our end and they have gotten us back on track, plus quickly been able to guide us through some more complex feature programming. No issues have gone unresolved and none have gone into the 2nd day. No issues have been in any way critical or serious either.
Even though our system is 100% hardwired it still requires an access point that is wireless. I don't like the potential issues with wireless. A few days ago one of the terminals was having a spotty connection issue.
Chip A. Especialidad: Restaurantes Número de empleados: 2-10 empleados
We have now been live with our new Revel POS for a week. Naturally, there were a few issues during the switch over, but most of those were a) problems with my setup and b) easily corrected with help from the on-boarding team, tech support folks and very comprehensive online documentation. As of this writing, I believe we are finally “there.”
I am really liking Revel’s product. To be honest, I had no idea how much I was missing out on these past 4 years. I had just assumed that a mature and viable POS product did not exist in the iPad/Cloud arena. I assumed, incorrectly it would seem, that to get such a product I would have to one day shell out thousands or tens of thouands of dollars for one of the “big guys” with expensive hardware. I’m glad to have been proven incorrect in that assumption.
In my mind, one of the absolute best features of Revel is that it is so highly configurable. I have been able to create a POS that meets my business needs as well as the needs of my employees and guests. So far I have not had to “settle” for a configuration that works for “most” people. Instead I have found that I can tell Revel how I want it to work for me and it just works that way. I've never understood why most cloud-based POS companies think that they know more about running our businesses than those of us who are in the trenches. I have been delighted to realize that Revel is willing to put in the effort to create a POS that works they way we work. There is no one-size-fits-all, especially in restaurants. Revel's designers and engineers seem to understand that fact.
Little things like the following mean the world to me:
1) I can specify negative modifiers — ones that deduct from the price. Now my guests can truly have it their way and only pay for what they want. While I've always run my cafe that way, only Revel has allowed me to do that without a lot of unnecessary steps.
2) I can set up default modifiers, and more importantly when a guest doesn’t want that default it is easy to specify at the POS and it is obvious for the kitchen.
3) The flexibility of defining “one size fits all” modifier groups, and tailoring those to the needs of each product that uses them, has made my life so much easier. The modifier features are amazing, and I've just begun to scratch the surface of what is available.
4) And don’t even get me started on recipes. How I ever lived without those in my POS is a mystery. I guess I lived without them because I never knew I needed them!
In the past two days, my employees and I have been able to identify menu items whose gross margins are dragging us down. Since all of our products come with so many options, this has always been a hard, time-consuming thing to do, involving lots of spreadsheets and number crunching. Now that I have nearly all of my recipes defined, I’m able to run one Product Mix report whenever I want and identify problems before they become catastrophes. That alone makes the “extra” expense of the monthly Revel hosting fee worth it.
Even in a small shop, such as mine, inventory control is a nightmare. It has become very obvious to me that after a month or two this task will get much easier. Once I have finished tweaking my product and recipe definitions, I’m looking forward to “knowing” my inventory status with just the touch of a button. I know it won’t be completely accurate — no theoretical inventory system can possibly account for human error. But, I already can tell that it will be much more accurate than I’ve ever had before, and it will be more accurate without the drudgery of weekly physical inventories.
I would be remiss if I did not give a shout-out to your on-boarding and tech support people. They all proved to be very helpful, and very willing to let me go at my pace in this process. I am a tech geek from the days of Univac and IBM mainframes, punch cards and programming languages that are long dead and buried. Though I am now a chef I have never lost my love of all things tech. It was a pleasure to work with people who let me control the process as I was learning Revel. Their on-boarding team is willing to do as much, or as little, as their new clients need to get them up and running quickly.
If I had to sum up my early experiences with Revel and the switch over, that sentence would be ---- I now feel like I am more in control of my business, that I understand my business better.
As we enter our fifth year, a year that looks to be like it will be on schedule to be our first true profit year, that is huge. I'm looking forward to learning how Revel can help make that first profit year even more profitable.
Sure, there is always room for improvement. Revel, like most mPOS companies, needs to get their integrated EMV/contactless functionality up and running, not just for one or two payment processing companies, but for all of them. Having said that, I realize how expensive and how difficult that task is. But, if they get it done quickly and correctly, they will be a hard company to beat.
A few other reviewers mentioned one suggestion I will echo -- be prepared to spend some time learning what you have with Revel, and what it can do for you. Myself, I spent hours looking at every setting, reading the help bubbles for every setting, and making notes about what I did and did not want to implement. I asked a lot of questions. I watched a lot of videos. When I wasn't sure, I created tests, ran them and looked at the results.
Most importantly, I spent two days keying the same orders into both my current POS and Revel, looking for discrepancies and errors in my setup. Sure, that all took a lot of time. But taking a lot of time up front means spending less time fighting fires after going live.
What I'm trying to say is don't think you are going to get your hardware and go live in a week. I budgeted a month for training, setup and troubleshooting before I ever thought about going live. I think a month is the MINIMUM time needed in order to do it right, and I have set up a lot of POS systems in my career. Remember -- as restaurants, our POS is the hub of our data and data analysis. We wouldn't short-change our recipe development, or training our cooks and other staff. To succeed, we need great data that tells us everything we need to know about our business. Revel can be that vital hub, but only if we take the necessary time and effort in the beginning.
And, with that, I'll step down from my soapbox.
Flexibility -- ability to configure to work the way MY BUSINESS works
Customer support and training
Needs to get their integrated EMV/contactless payment integration up and running. Currently that only works for one or two payment processors.
See my review. This product is flexible, with lots of bells and whistles, highly configurable. To make it work for you, you need to budget the time to read, train, watch videos and ask lots of questions. Don't shortcut this. Take the time now and you won't regret doing so.
Response: Sarah 25/10/2016
Thank you so much for your detailed input. There's so much useful advice here! We agree that with a robust platform it definitely takes some time to customize, but once you do, you will reap the benefits of having intelligence about your business easily available. We hope to continue to continue to provide stellar service so that you can run your profitable cafe. Your shout-outs to Support and Onboarding will be passed on! Thank you so much for your support and belief in our product and what we are working so hard to accomplish.
Cheers and thank you again.
-Sarah, Community Manager, Revel Systems
Phil K. Especialidad: Hostelería Número de empleados: 51-200 empleados
Revel Systems POS is a very powerful tool that is well-supported, constantly undergoing updates and improvements (and that our salesman and installer have been very easy to work with!) I have generally found tech support to be responsive and they have usually always helped me resolve any issues.
The retail, restaurant and quick service platforms that we use in our establishments are designed with those unique industries in mind, and the system is powerful enough to handle close to 10K inventory items in retail; dozens of employees in retail and restaurant establishments; and even a quick service environment where hard-wired Internet service is not feasible. We have had a great experience with our salesman, installer and tech support throughout our relationship with Revel.
The off-the-shelf Revel POS system is not a custom system made to a customer's exact specifications, although Revel does offer that service for additional cost. Customers should know what their needs are before implementing the system. The system is based on a columnar, spreadsheet, model, and for many installations that may result in the user interface having several layers of menu screens that need to be negotiated in order to retrieve a menu item. The system is pretty flexible, however, and offers the means to work with a huge number of inventory items in a wide variety of platforms (hospitality, retail, mobile.)
Potential buyers need to be aware, though, that the system is not a custom system, and they need to know what kind of system is right for them and not expect the system to do things it is not designed to do. There is a certain amount of maintenance and upkeep required of customers (updating versions of the system to take advantage of new releases, etc.) that may be unfamiliar to potential customers who have used other POS systems previously.
Lisa W. Especialidad: Restaurantes Número de empleados: 13-50 empleados
The only reporting feature I would love to see is comparative reports so I don't have to piece them together. I want to know things like "sales last March versus sales this March", and "labor last month versus this month". That's how we track trends and right now we have to export as excel and wrote our own formulas to analyze this data. Overall, a good system for our small business.
Great reporting on the back end. Responsive to feedback. Constantly evolving and listening to customers. VERY customizable.
The systems are reliable (as long as your network is reliable) and I haven't had any Revel related downtime. We are a 7 day a week operation with two locations and the only problems we have had have been related to our own network reliability and one faulty iPad. Once we upgraded those, we were fine.
SUPER labor intensive to set up yourself. If you are at all uncomfortable with technology and terminology, hire someone to do this for you. If you are comfortable plucking around in setting up the backend yourself, go for it. I had TERRIBLE frustrations with the support team at launch. It was clearly an overseas call center and there was a language barrier where the agents were likely trained to simply read back scripted responses and not really think critically through my issues. I feel like maybe they added some US based support because sometimes when I call now, language and understanding is not an issue and I can get things solved quickly.
It can sometimes feel like this system is trying to be all things to all people, which can be both admirable and frustrating at the same time. There are SO many set up choices I don't need that I feel like a consultative sales approach (and more personal support at set up) would be more helpful but that would definitely cause costs to rise. It's a conundrum.
So just know that you'll save money if you feel confident setting this up yourself. If you aren't comfortable wit technology, be ready to spend a little on hiring a person to set you up.