Working in a restaurant can be fun. It can also be stressful, chaotic, and dreadful. The experience is determined by a few key factors.
One primary variable that defines that experience is a restaurant’s point of sale (POS) system. If employees can quickly swoop in and out of a system while on the go, productivity rises and employees enjoy their jobs.
On the other hand, if they must fiddle around with the system to find specific items and struggle with constant system issues, productivity, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and revenue all drop.
Today we’ll compare two popular restaurant POS systems: Revel Systems and Toast.
Various restaurant types use Toast and the system is known to be especially helpful for food trucks.
Revel Systems scores lower than Toast but includes capabilities that could make it a better choice for you. For example, if you run a chain of restaurants or have unique reporting needs, Revel might be your best bet.
We don’t want to influence you either way, but rather present factual information and let you decide for yourself. So, let’s dig in.
Revel Systems vs. Toast: Side-by-Side Comparison Summary
- 1 Revel Systems vs. Toast: Side-by-Side Comparison Summary
- 2 Revel Systems vs. Toast: POS Software Comparison
- 3 Revel Systems vs. Toast: Company Operating Practices
- 4 Revel Systems vs. Toast: POS Hardware
- 5 Is Revel Systems or Toast Your Best Bet?
|Payment Processing Fees|
|Customer Loyalty Programs|
Revel Systems vs. Toast: POS Software Comparison
As with any of our comparison articles, we compare two systems, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and offer our opinions. But we always leave the final decision up to you.
Revel Systems users have mixed feelings about the system’s user interface. Many users love the interface and describe it as intuitive and easy to use. It’s possible that those reviews came from tech-savvy or occasional system users.
Because we also read many reviews from users claiming the system was cumbersome, illogically organized, and difficult to navigate. Of course, we must take individual reviews with a grain of salt. But when we see patterns forming it indicates there is a real problem to address.
Toast users consistently report that the system has a very intuitive, user-friendly interface. This is a plus as it makes training new users a piece of cake.
In fact, we conducted deep research into both systems. During that research, we did not find a single user review that mentioned any difficulty using the Toast POS system.
Revel Systems offers integrations with many different types of third-party apps. Those include online/mobile ordering, reporting, accounting, delivery management, commerce, marketing, data aggregators, loyalty programs, restaurant management, gift cards, and payroll.
On top of that, advanced integrations are available for CRM, payment processing, mobile payment processors, payment gateways, and security services apps. These seem to work with one glaring exception.
We found at least 15 or more user reviews that claim the system’s integration with QuickBooks is a mess.
Toast offers users a ton of integration options—significantly more than Revel offers. Its application programming interface (API) allows you to integrate with third-party systems in multiple categories. These include labor, inventory, accounting, reservations, security, marketing, CRM, analytics, online ordering, loyalty programs, payroll, mobile pay, and gift cards.
With over 70 integrations with some of the most popular restaurant technology providers, Toast offers maximum flexibility. Users can configure the system to meet their unique needs. However, integrations aren’t included in the starter package so you must pay for a higher tier package to use them.
WINNER: Toast, due to user satisfaction with its integration offerings
This is an important feature for nearly any restaurant that offers delivery or take out orders. Let’s see how each system stacks up.
Revel Systems offers online ordering, but users report consistent problems with this feature. Some of which say they receive complaints from customers that their online ordering portal is not working properly.
Toast’s online ordering capabilities are a strong selling point for the system. Many users cite online ordering as a major reason they moved to Toast from a previous provider. One user review we read went as far as saying, “Toast’s online ordering is perfect.”
Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and analytics are important to any business type as they allow decision makers to make informed, data-driven decisions. In this day and age, businesses can’t survive without some type of insight into performance results.
Revel Systems delivers strong reporting and analysis features that delight many customers. There are many reports to select from, including standard point of sale reports. The system also offers restaurant-specific reports that are considered icing on the cake.
The only negative aspect of Revel Systems reporting that we found was that it’s configured for US users. A few users from other countries say Revel’s reporting is useless to them. We’re not sure if that’s a question of language, tax calculation, or some other variable.
Toast offers relatively strong reporting features as well. However, we found that Revel outpaces Toast in the reporting space. Toast’s reporting accommodates the needs of most users and they are generally satisfied.
However, we’ve heard reports that its enterprise reporting features often time out before completing. This is almost certainly because the system struggles to process the huge amounts of data captured and stored by enterprises. Other users claim Toast’s reporting features are generic and lack the advanced capabilities many restaurants need.
WINNER: Revel Systems
Both systems feature loyalty programs, which are incredibly useful for restaurants. When investigating loyalty programs for Revel Systems and Toast we found mixed reviews for each.
Some users are fully satisfied while others are not. Considering that, we’d call this a draw. However, the differentiating factor between Toast’s and Revel’s loyalty programs is that Toast includes theirs with their base package.
Revel Systems, on the other hand, charges users a fee and positions loyalty programs as an add-on feature. Since Toast is cheaper to being with, this penalizes Revel Systems and subtracts points from the solution in this category.
Revel Systems vs. Toast: Company Operating Practices
A vendor’s operating practices impact market perception. Things like customer support quality and sales practices can easily push customers to look for an alternative.
Revel Systems customer support seems to please many customers. The majority of users that speak about customer support say it is terrific. However, other users claim that it is horrible.
The latter group cites rude support reps and slow response times as pain points. There does not seem to be any middle ground—users either love or strongly dislike Revel’s customer support.
Across various user review sites, we compiled users’ average rating for customer support; Revel Systems scored 7.7 out of 10 points
Toast’s customer support receives similar ratings as Revel Systems. Some users love it, while others say it leaves much to be desired.
Satisfied users cite Toast’s customer support team as being very professional in their approach to dealing with customers. Detractors claim the Toast support team can be difficult—at times, impossible—to reach when an issue arises.
Support ratings from those same sites, when compiled into a single average score, amount to 8.1 out of 10 points.
WINNER: Toast by half a length
Revel Systems users, again, expressed mixed feelings about the company’s sales reps and their approach to selling. We encountered many reviews claiming sales reps misled them during the sales process.
Specifically, they claim that a rep would guarantee a feature was included in the system a prospect was considering. The customer later finds out that it’s a fee-based add-on. Now that’s a poor customer experience. Some users went as far as to call Revel’s sales team “LIARS” (in all caps to drive home their dissatisfaction).
Toast users don’t seem to have much to say about the company’s sales reps one way or the other. As the saying goes: “no news is good news.” However, a few users report that the sales team can be difficult to reach when they have a question.
Oops, that’s a definite case of a vendor dropping the ball. When someone calls a company’s sales number or emails the team, they need a rapid response. That is, if you like to sell things and grow your business.
WINNER: Neither company’s sales practices impressed us, so we call this a draw
Revel Systems vs. Toast: POS Hardware
Revel Systems POS hardware selection is broad; the company offers most POS hardware components that restaurants need.
The only issue that likely turns customers off is the fact that Revel does not list any pricing on its hardware pages. To make matters more frustrating for potential customers, Revel even includes all of its hardware components on its pricing page. However, when you click through, you don’t find prices.
Toast does include pricing for most of the software it sells. The majority of it comes in pre-set bundles with clearly listed prices.
The only downside is that you must pay for hardware as an upfront cost when becoming a new user. On the bright side, Toast does not require any contract and you can leave any time you want.
WINNER: Toast because we have no idea how much Revel charges
Is Revel Systems or Toast Your Best Bet?
Toast “toasted” Revel Systems in our reviews and comparisons above, winning six out of eight comparisons. Revel won one comparison and the eighth ended in a draw.
We could call Toast the clear winner and the better system for you. However, we’re not in your shoes and don’t run your business. Perhaps the items we covered matter less to you than system capabilities we did not cover.
Regardless, the review sites cited above list Toast as outscoring Revel Systems in every category measured by these sites. Those include everything from individual features to customer satisfaction and users’ overall rating of the system.
To top it off, Toast can be used on either an Android or an Apple iOS device, while Revel is limited to iOS.
But you should not take information from one article and decide based on its opinion of a system. When you identify systems you like, you should dig deeper into their capabilities, terms, conditions, and pricing. Then, make your own decision.
POS Quote Team
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