Revel vs Square
Having trouble deciding between Square and Revel for your business?
Finding the right POS platform can be challenging, especially since several factors must be taken into account. Specific features, integrations, and hardware options vary across POS systems.
Luckily, we've put in the research to help you out.
Come dive in with us as we explore the difference between Revel Systems and Square point-of-sale solutions in our side-by-side comparison guide.
Choose Revel If...
Revel is an excellent iPad point-of-sale solution for larger businesses. It is most popular with restaurants, coffee shops, and bars/nightclubs, and because it has such a dedicated retail system, it performs seamlessly with other types of brick-and-mortar businesses as well.
Revel is packed to the brim with innovative features helping larger and more complex businesses stay organized enough to maintain consistent growth. It's certainly a more expensive option than Square, which may be a deciding factor if you're a small business owner with a limited budget.
Choose Square If...
Square's point-of-sale solution is primarily aimed at small business owners. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar retail store, a coffee shop, or an appointment-based business, you'll be able to find the right style of software to focus on your business needs.
The software contains everything you may need, including eCommerce, built-in payment processing, third-party integrations and inventory management. Square delivers a diverse range of hardware options and there is even a free plan to get you started.
Revel Systems VS Square Comparison Chart
Larger, more established restaurants and retailers
Small restaurants and retailers as well as new sellers
$49 to $799
$99 per month per terminal
$0 per month starting
24/7 year-round support
Customer support from 6 AM to 6 PM PST over phone, email, and live chat. 24/7 support for Premium plan users
Free open API or mobile inventory management, transparent pricing, appointment-based software
Vendor management tools in the free plan, tiered payment processing fees, and age-restricted online purchasing tools, 24/7 support hours with free plan
Digging Into The Details
Revel's Best Features:
Customer Experience Features
Because Revel focuses much of its attention on larger restaurants, one of the main aspects you'll find in this point-of-sale solution is a wide range of customer experience features.
For starters, you can integrate self-serve kiosks to work in your business. These self-serve kiosks can link up to a single dashboard, allowing you to change menu items, set new prices, update inventory, and more.
You'll also find a wide range of customer relationship management tools, as well as features for customer retention, such as gift cards and loyalty programs.
To top it all off, Revel Systems offers some of the best online ordering and mobile order-taking tools in the game, making it easy for customers to get their food when they want it most while keeping your kitchen organized.
While both of these point-of-sale systems come with inventory management software, the inventory management suite found in Revel Systems is arguably more robust. It's incredibly important for any kind of business to know what they have on hand, though beyond that, the inventory management software in Revel Systems provides key performance indicators and reports to tell you how your products are performing.
Some of these reports include:
Inventory management at the ingredient level is especially important for large restaurants, and the ability to apply auto-restocking and low-stock alerts can make inventory maintenance a breeze.
Reporting and Analytics
In a data-driven world, analyzing the performance metrics of your business is crucial. This is especially true for restaurants, which often have slim profit margins as it is.
While we've already discussed inventory management reports, there is so much more to Revel Systems' reporting and analytics.
For starters, Revel Systems will give you access to complex sales data, order history data, and employee management data, including revenue generated by each employee, employee time cards, and payroll summary.
Square has a mobile app that you can use to keep track of your business while you're out and about, though we've found that the one from Revel Systems offers more. With this POS app, which can be used on Android and iOS devices, you can keep track of everything from inventory to employees. Some of the real-time information you can expect to keep track of includes:
Being able to check the status of each employee in real-time can be helpful as well, as you can never afford to be short-staffed. If you can see that one of your employees is running late, you can call them in real-time to get an update.
Because we've yet to find a piece of software that does it all, it's nice to know that Revel POS system has a wide range of third-party integrations you can use to expand its functionality. You'll find a unique variety of third-party point-of-sale integrations across numerous categories, including:
While you may end up paying more for these integrations, they can be extremely helpful when catering your point-of-sale system to your business.
Square's Best Features:
Free Online Store
If you sell your products online or are thinking about setting up a simple eCommerce store, you'll be happy to know that Square provides you with a free website builder when you sign up for its services.
While the online store builder is quite limited, the ability to begin selling online right away can drastically increase your revenue while expanding your sales channels.
The Square website user reviews are positive, and the websites look great on both iPhone mobile and Android mobile.
While you can get an open API set up with Revel, it costs extra on top of the already expensive system. Square comes with an open API right off the bat, allowing developers to customize the system to fit the needs of any business with ease.
Square also comes with a wide range of third-party integrations, giving you all the flexibility you could need, whether you run a quick-service restaurant or a hybrid online retail store.
One unique feature we absolutely love about Square is its unique Appointments software, which works wonders for any appointment-based company, such as a barber, nail salon, spa, or personal trainer.
This web-based appointment app allows you to organize your schedule, send out text and email reminders, and create customer profiles to enhance the overall customer experience.
Customer users can log on to see when their appointments are scheduled and get real-time updates.
No Monthly Subscription
While it's not really a feature per se, it's worth mentioning that Square does not have any contractual obligations, especially when compared to Revel, which has some of the strictest contractual limits in the industry.
You can work with Square on a month-to-month basis. We love how flexible the company is in this regard, especially for new business owners that are still trying to find their footing.
Included Payment Processing
Both Square and Revel include payment processing in their system, though the payment processing costs from Square are far more transparent. They offer flat rate fees right off the bat, ideal for low-volume restaurants or retail shops that desire simplicity and predictability in their monthly payments.
As you grow into a high-volume business, you can get in contact with Square to give you better payment processing rates to save you a bit of money.
One of the main drawbacks of Revel is that it is quite expensive as a small business solution, especially when compared to the Square point-of-sale system. You also have to lock into a three-year contract when you start using Revel, which can be quite a commitment when taking on a POS system that you aren't too familiar with. In fact, it's one of the longest contractual obligations in the POS industry.
To make matters worse, the pricing is very opaque, as Revel only publishes the base starting price for its POS software. You can't find any pricing for payment processing or hardware. Even the starting prices are higher than just about any POS competitor, and the company charges extra for setup and installation.
It's also worth noting that while Revel's POS app offers a number of strong features, it gets several bad reviews due to system crashes and poor connectivity, which can be difficult to troubleshoot.
The two main complaints that we see from Square users don't have to do with the company's features, but instead, the customer service and account holds.
In many instances, we find an overlap between these two complaints. Square is a very large POS company with many vendors around the U.S. As with any major company, trying to get in touch with someone when you need help most can be a pain. You can't always expect a customer support rep from Square to get back to you in a timely manner.
It's also worth noting that the company's customer service only extends from around 6 AM to 6 PM, so if you run an after-hours business, such as a bar or nightclub, the support you receive will be even more limited.
Secondly, because Square works as an integrated payment processor as well, you often have to deal with potential fund access instability. Square is in charge of your payment processing, and if the system suspects anything unusual is going on, they can put your funds on hold. In worst-case scenarios, they can terminate your account, leaving you without your system for a few days while you try and get things back up and running.
Of course, this is far from a rite of passage for Square users, though we've heard enough horror stories to make it worth mentioning.
Which Is A Better Value?
If you're running a larger and more complex business, Revel might be the better solution. It is certainly geared toward companies that work in the food service space, especially larger restaurants and catering companies.
If you're a retailer selling merchandise, we recommend looking at some other POS solutions before Revel Systems. With that said, Revel is certainly an intuitive and feature-rich piece of software with an excellent customer support background.
On the other hand, if you're looking for an easy-to-use platform that won't break the bank, Square point-of-sale is probably the most popular on the market. The software is streamlined, the hardware is sleek, and there is a vast library of third-party integrations to customize your POS solution in any way you deem fit.
While larger business owners might require better functionality, it's well worth the cost for smaller businesses in the market for their first POS system.
At the end of the day, it's about considering the features that you need to help your business excel. We hope we have helped you in determining which of these two systems offer the right solution for your individual needs.