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TouchBistro vs Revel: 2024 Restaurant POS Review

By Katherine Pendrill

illustration comparing POS's
Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are the highlights
TouchBistro:
– Runs on iOS and Apple iPad tablets
– A hybrid cloud-based system that keeps working even without an Internet connection
– Integrated payments with cost-plus pricing and the flexibility to use third-party payment processors
– Competitive monthly software fees
– Best for single and multi-location restaurants that are growing and scaling

Revel:
– Not a restaurant-specific solution
– Runs on iOS and Apple iPad tablets
– Extensive in-house solutions for QSRs, including a drive-thru system
– High monthly software fees
– Best for established QSR chains

If you’re shopping for a new restaurant POS system, chances are you’ve wanted to compare two of the biggest names in the space: TouchBistro vs Revel.

Both TouchBistro and Revel are powerful POS systems and payment solutions that run on iOS and use Apple hardware. But while the two restaurant management software systems may seem similar at first glance, there are some critical differences between them.

To get down to the nitty-gritty and uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each POS system, you need our in-depth review of TouchBistro vs Revel.

In this head-to-head comparison, we’ll cover:

  • The foundations of each system
  • Core POS features
  • Hardware
  • Payments
  • Other add-on solutions
  • Pricing
  • Integration partners
  • Customer support

Going beyond a basic Google search, this comprehensive guide to Revel Systems vs TouchBistro will illustrate which system is the pricier option, which one is more user-friendly, and, most importantly, which one is right for your restaurant – ultimately saving you from reading dozens of different TouchBistro and Revel POS user reviews and ratings. To compare other top POS providers, check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems.

The information contained on this site is accurate as of the time of publication.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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TouchBistro vs Revel: An Overview

As mentioned above, both POS systems, Revel and TouchBistro, have many similarities. They both offer integrated payments, and both are equipped with modern restaurant management features like tableside ordering, advanced menu management, and online ordering

But just because both systems use iPads doesn’t mean TouchBistro and Revel restaurant POS are one and the same. Below, we’ll dig a little bit deeper into TouchBistro vs Revel, including the similarities between the two systems, how they differ, and what all this means for you and your restaurant.

TouchBistroRevel
POS SystemHybrid cloud-basedHybrid cloud-based
Operating SystemiOSiOS
Regional AvailabilityCAD, U.S., and moreU.S., CAD, U.K., AU, SG, HK, SA, KW, U.A.E., and more
Hardware (Tablets)iPadsiPads

1. POS System

When it comes to the POS system setup, TouchBistro and Revel are fairly similar.

Revel offers a unique hybrid architecture, which has elements of both a cloud-based system and a local network. On the one hand, this means that your data is stored in the cloud on remote servers so you can access it any time, from any place — as long as you have an Internet connection. However, there is also a local connection in place that allows your POS terminals (and the features they support) to stay up and running if your Internet goes down.

TouchBistro is also a hybrid cloud-based POS system. This means you enjoy the same flexibility and remote capabilities of a strictly cloud-based system, but you also have a local connection to keep your POS system up and running at all times. This means that even if your internet goes down, your POS terminals can still talk to one another, allowing you to continue taking orders and sending information to the kitchen. In other words, slow or unreliable internet will never bring service to a standstill.

TouchBistro POS on wooden bartop

2. Operating System

Another similarity between TouchBistro and Revel restaurant POS is that they both rely on the same operating system.

TouchBistro and Revel run on Apple’s iOS operating system and use Apple hardware. Unlike Android, iOS is generally considered a more reliable and user-friendly operating system because Apple owns both the hardware (the iPad) and the software (iOS). This not only allows for a seamless integration between the POS software and tablets, but it also means that updates are rolled out automatically across devices.

3. Regional Availability

Though technical considerations are important, all that is meaningless if the POS system you’re considering isn’t available in your region. Fortunately, both TouchBistro and Revel are available in several countries, including the U.S. and Canada.

Though Revel doesn’t have regionally specific information available on its website, the company does support restaurants in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the U.A.E. The company also boasts offices in Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; and Vilnius, Lithuania — all of which provide domestic and international customer support.

TouchBistro also has a global footprint, serving more than 100 different countries, including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Core POS Features of Revel vs. TouchBistro

As two of the top restaurant POS systems, it should come as no surprise that both TouchBistro and Revel share many of the same core POS functions. These are the must-have features that allow restaurants to do everything from taking orders tableside to pricing their menu items.

Core POS FeaturesTouchBistroRevel
Menu Management
Staff Management
Floor Plan Management
Tableside Ordering
Reporting
1:1 Onboarding
Customer Support24/7/36524/7/365

When you compare TouchBistro vs Revel directly, you’ll find that both providers offer many of the same core POS features:

  • Menu Management: Remotely build and manage multiple menus, including custom modifiers. 
  • Staff Management: Streamline employee communications and manage all aspects of your labor operations in one place.
  • Floor Plan Management: Design customizable restaurant floor plans, take orders by table, move parties around, split checks, and more.
  • Tableside Ordering: Take POS tablets tableside for faster and more accurate order taking.
  • Reporting: Real-time and end-of-day reports that can be used to pull key business insights.

Though TouchBistro and Revel restaurant POS may be equipped with similar features, it doesn’t necessarily mean they function the same way. This is because Revel was built with enterprise in mind. More specifically, Revel is the POS system of choice among major fast food and fast casual chains in the U.S., including The Halal Guys and Fat Brands (the entity behind franchises like Fatburger and Round Table Pizza).

For large-scale enterprise restaurant businesses with hundreds of locations, Revel’s extensive capabilities make it easy to manage everyday operations. This is especially true for restaurateurs who are already familiar with POS systems and appreciate the ability to customize different functions.

However, for smaller restaurant businesses with less than a dozen locations, all these features may not be necessary. The sheer number of complex functions that Revel offers can make navigating the software overwhelming and difficult to use for some restaurant staff. Without serious dedication, time, and training, it may be tough for most operators to unlock the full potential of Revel’s software.

In contrast, TouchBistro offers a much more straightforward POS system that supports single and multi-location restaurant businesses alike. And while it lacks some of the bells and whistles of a system designed for enterprise, TouchBistro offers everything operators need to run their business on one user-friendly platform. In other words, if you’re not running a global restaurant chain, you’ll get everything you need with TouchBistro, and nothing you don’t.

TouchBistro’s more streamlined list of functions makes it easier to learn right out of the box and faster to navigate on a day-to-day basis. Not to mention, fewer custom features also means a lower monthly fee because you aren’t paying for features you can’t or won’t use.

servers looking at iPad POS

Hardware

Both TouchBistro and Revel use Apple’s iPad tablets as the POS terminals. Many of the top restaurant POS providers also use iPads, which means that if you’re switching from another iPad POS provider, you can save money on hardware by reusing your current iPad tablets (as long as it’s a compatible generation).

So many top POS providers use Apple hardware because iPads are some of the most user-friendly tablets on the market. Whether your staff is already familiar with Apple devices or not, the products are very intuitive and easy to learn right out of the box – something that can save you a lot of time when setting up your system and training staff.

While the user-friendly design of iPads is a plus, perhaps the biggest benefit is the seamless integration between the hardware and Apple’s iOS operating system. This integration means that iOS security updates will roll out automatically across all Apple devices so you never have to worry about missing key software updates. Plus, iOS offers better data security than TouchBistro and Revel competitors who exclusively use Android systems, which are frequently the target of malware.

In addition to iPads, both TouchBistro and Revel also require additional hardware to use their POS systems, such as printers, payment terminals, stands, cash drawers, and more. Revel offers all of this hardware in bundles or as individual purchases, whereas TouchBistro’s hardware can only be purchased individually.

Though both companies offer high-quality POS hardware, the exact items you need may vary dramatically depending on the type of restaurant you operate, the volume of customers you serve, and the kind of setup you want. As a result, it’s best to contact each POS provider directly to determine what additional hardware you need and whether any of the hardware you already have is compatible.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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Compare the top restaurant POS systems on features, pricing, payments, and more.

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Add-On Solutions

Beyond the core POS features, both TouchBistro and Revel offer add-on features that can help you carry out additional functions such as processing payments, creating customer loyalty programs, setting up email marketing campaigns, and more. Though not every restaurant will need all these extra features, they can help busy restaurants improve operations, especially as they scale.

Payments

Of all the add-on solutions available to restaurants, there’s one that you can’t run your business without: payment processors.

PaymentsTouchBistroRevel
Payments Pricing ModelCost plus (interchange plus) pricingFixed rate pricing
Payment Processing FeesTouchBistro Payments (U.S. only):
Interchange + processing fee

Integrated Payments for Online Ordering:
2.9% + $0.30 / transaction (CAD)

Competitive card-not-present processing fees (U.S.)
Revel Advantage:
2.49% plus $0.15 / transaction

3rd Party Payments:
Pricing varies based on partner chosen

A payment processor is the partner that allows you to accept credit, debit, and digital payments. These solutions are sometimes integrated with your POS directly or they are standalone systems that you purchase separately.

Both TouchBistro and Revel offer an integrated payment processing solution for restaurants. Most restaurateurs prefer to use an integrated payment processing solution because the POS speaks directly to the payment terminals, allowing for a seamless flow of data and eliminating the need for manual entry. In turn, this speeds up service and dramatically reduces errors – both of which lead to a more positive customer experience.

While both TouchBistro and Revel offer similar integrated payment processing solutions for restaurants, there is one important difference to take note of. To guarantee the best monthly software fees for Revel POS, you also need to agree to use the company’s integrated payment processing solution, Revel Advantage. While this is quite standard practice in the restaurant industry, Revel requires you to sign a three-year-long contract for its payment processor, which is longer than what most Revel alternatives offer.

Three years is a long time in the restaurant industry, especially if you’re operating a growing business and considering expansion. This major upfront commitment can create a somewhat very restrictive situation for operators because you could end up stuck with a payment processor that doesn’t meet your changing needs.

Other Add-On Solutions

Beyond payment processing, many restaurants offer other add-on solutions for their POS systems, such as online ordering, gift cards, and more.

Add-On SolutionsTouchBistroRevel
Integrated Payments
Online Ordering
Integrated Delivery
Delivery Management
Reservations
Gift Cards
Loyalty and Customer Relationship Management
Marketing
Inventory & Back Office Management
Self-Serve Kiosks
Kitchen Display System
Customer Facing Display
Digital Menu Board

TouchBistro and Revel both offer the following add-on solutions:

  • Payments: Integrated payment processing for in venue and online orders.
  • Online Ordering: Customers can place orders for takeout or curbside pickup directly from a restaurant’s website and the order is instantly processed through the POS system.
  • Gift Cards: Branded physical gift cards with multi-location reconciliation.
  • CRM and Loyalty: Customer relationship management tools and restaurant reward programs.
  • Kitchen Display System (KDS): A digital system that displays orders for the back of house staff.
  • Customer Facing Display: A counter-service system that faces the customer so they can visually confirm their order.

For the most part, TouchBistro and Revel offer comparable add-on products. However, there are a few areas where the two products differ.

For instance, Revel offers unique solutions for QSR brands, including a self-service kiosk option. Revel also offers an in-house delivery management system that allows restaurants to track delivery orders, set specific delivery zones, and monitor deliveries in real time. This is a feature that’s particularly valuable for major pizzerias that process a significant number of delivery orders.

While delivery management is important, it still requires restaurants to have and manage their own in-house delivery fleets. In contrast, TouchBistro Online Ordering integrates directly with DoorDash Drive to help restaurants get orders from door to door without lifting a finger. Through this partnership, restaurants gain access to an on-demand network of local drivers for quick and convenient delivery – all while paying $0 in commission fees.

Some of TouchBistro’s other add-on solutions are also more built-out than Revel’s.

For instance, TouchBistro Reservations is an end-to-end reservation system and guest management platform that integrates directly with your POS. Unlike Revel, which offers no in-house or integrated reservations software, TouchBistro Reservations provides a seamless solution for managing online bookings and walk-ins. With this solution, guests can make online reservations directly through a restaurant’s website, Facebook page, or from the TouchBistro Dine platform. TouchBistro also allows restaurants to send automatic reservation and waitlist confirmations to guests via email or text, which helps to reduce no shows.

Another important add-on that TouchBistro offers is an inventory and cost management solution called TouchBistro Profit Management Powered by MarginEdge. A perfect companion to your POS, this robust back office management solution gives you 360-degree visibility into your entire operation. Powered by automation and driven by data, the fully integrated solution provides you with the tools required to track food costs in real time, adjust recipes for maximum profitability, process invoices digitally, streamline accounting processes, standardize inventory management across multiple locations, and more, all from one centralized platform. With Revel, multiple integrations are required just to carry out the same tasks – something that can massively complicate your tech stack.

server taking payment tableside

Pricing

In a restaurant POS comparison of TouchBistro vs Revel, one of the biggest differences between the two companies is pricing. And not just the monthly software fees. TouchBistro and Revel also differ when it comes to the cost of hardware, installation, and add-on services.

PricingTouchBistroRevel
Software PricingStarting at $69 USD / month for a single licenseStarting at $99 USD per terminal / month (3-year contract and Revel Advantage required)

Custom quote pricing also available

Revel provides little information about its pricing upfront, but it does note that its monthly software fees start at $99 USD per month for one terminal and you’re required to sign up for Revel Advantage as your payment processing solution. This basic package includes the core POS features, reporting and analytics, 24/7 support, and personalized onboarding. While you get a lot with even the most basic package, it’s important to note that Revel bills annually and requires a three-year commitment – a long period of time for the restaurant industry.

Not only is Revel’s starting monthly fee already more expensive than most restaurant POS systems on the market, but you also need to account for the added cost of installation, specialized hardware, add-on services, integrated credit card processing, and more. All of these fees add up to make Revel one of the more costly restaurant POS solutions out there.

In contrast, TouchBistro is much more transparent about its pricing, which starts at $69 per month for a single license. Plus, TouchBistro offers flexible a la carte pricing, so you only need to pay for the exact add-on solutions you need.

Not only is TouchBistro’s monthly software fee already lower than Revel’s, but TouchBistro also offers lower fees for its integrated credit card processing solution, TouchBistro Payments.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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Compare the top restaurant POS systems on features, pricing, payments, and more.

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Integration Partners

When you compare TouchBistro vs Revel on their POS features, the two platforms have a lot in common. Both companies also offer third-party integrations for similar solutions such as accounting, delivery, inventory management, and more. 

Integration PartnersTouchBistroRevel
Online Ordering and Delivery
Reservations✘ (in-house solution)
Customer Relationship Management and Loyalty✘ (in-house solution)
Staff Management, HR, and Payroll
Inventory Management
Accounting
Reporting and Analytics
Ecommerce
Payment Solutions

Both TouchBistro and Revel offer integrations for the following:

  • Online Ordering and Delivery Marketplaces: Sync multiple different third-party delivery apps with your POS system through aggregators like Deliverect and Chowly.
  • Staff Management, HR, and Payroll: Employee scheduling and labor management tools like 7shifts and Homebase, as well as payroll providers like Push Operations.
  • Inventory Management: Advanced inventory management tools such as MarketMan and MarginEdge.
  • Accounting: Accounting solutions such as Shogo (which connects to QuickBooks) and gratuity management tools like Gratuity Solutions.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Advanced reporting and business insights through software like Avero.

While both POS management systems have third-party integrations for similar solutions, Revel comes out on top when it comes to the sheer number of third-party integrations available to its users. This is because Revel is geared towards enterprise restaurant brands (specifically major QSR brands), which means it needs to support a wider range of third-party partners. Revel restaurant POS also has an open API, which means you can develop your own integrations if you choose to (though this comes at an added cost).

In contrast, TouchBistro supports fewer third-party integrations. However, TouchBistro’s curated list of integration partners consists of industry-leading solutions already used by most restaurateurs.

For instance, TouchBistro supports 7shifts for employee scheduling, Shogo for accounting (which connects to QuickBooks, Sage, Xero, and Oracle), and online ordering aggregators like Deliverect. Though TouchBistro’s list of integration partners may be more narrow than Revel’s, most independent restaurants will be able to use their preferred software partners with TouchBistro.

Customer Support

Whether you’re running a small independent restaurant or a multi-unit chain, you’ll want to factor customer support into your decision. Fortunately, both TouchBistro and Revel offer round-the-clock support to help restaurants when they need it most.

As part of its software package, Revel offers 24/7 support, all 365 days of the year. This includes phone support for sales, technical issues, and billing; email support for customer service; and web support for troubleshooting issues on your own. Revel also offers onsite technical support for major issues, although this will cost you an additional fee.

Like Revel, TouchBistro also offers 24/7 support, all 365 days of the year, for all of its customers. TouchBistro’s support team can be reached by phone or email and is largely staffed by former service industry professionals. This means that when you call in, you’re speaking with someone who knows the industry inside and out, and has an intimate understanding of the issues you’re experiencing. For more minor issues, TouchBistro also has an extensive online resource library, complete with step-by-step guides and videos that can be used to troubleshoot virtually any issue.

back of house staff looking at POS

Revel Systems vs TouchBistro: The Bottom Line

When you compare TouchBistro vs Revel directly, it’s clear that each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. As a result, each system is best suited for a very different type of restaurant.

With its robust QSR solutions, including drive-thru technology and a dedicated self-service kiosk solution, alongside a lengthy list of third-party integrations, Revel is best suited to big-name QSR businesses with locations that span the country. In fact, Revel notes on its website that its customers include popular QSR chains such as Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s, and you can find many Revel POS reviews from multi-location QSR chains.

Unlike Revel and Revel competitors in the enterprise space, TouchBistro isn’t fully equipped to handle the needs of multinational restaurant chains. However, there are a few key selling points that make TouchBistro a better all-around solution for the majority of single and multi-location restaurants:

1. Affordable Pricing

In any restaurant POS system comparison, pricing is one of the biggest factors. TouchBistro is one of the most affordable restaurant POS systems on the market, starting at just $69 per month. And with flexible, a la carte pricing, you only pay for the add-on solutions you really need (and nothing you don’t).

In the restaurant industry, profits are notoriously thin – especially these days. A more affordable POS system means you can spend more on the things that help your restaurant stand out from the competition, like incredible food and an all-star staff. But if you get stuck with a pricier option like Revel, you may need to cut back just to make the math work.

2. Complementary Features

While it’s easy to get wowed by dozens of bright and shiny POS features, more isn’t always better. Though TouchBistro doesn’t offer the bells and whistles of an enterprise solution, it has everything a single or multi-location operator needs to manage their business – whether that’s a tiny cafe or a six-concept restaurant group. And as you grow, TouchBistro allows you to expand the capabilities of your POS with in-house add-on features like online ordering, loyalty, marketing, and reservations.

For major restaurant brands, having a more customizable POS is necessary to deal with the idiosyncrasies of different global markets. However, for most restaurants, too many features can make a system overly complicated to use and difficult to learn. Not to mention, all those extra features come at an added cost, so if you’re not using them, it’s like money down the drain.

3. Restaurant-Specific Solution

While it may not seem like a major factor at first, having a restaurant-specific solution is essential to finding the right POS system. And with TouchBistro, that’s exactly what you get. TouchBistro was designed by restaurants, exclusively for restaurants, and has never wavered from serving this target market in more than a decade of business.

In contrast, Revel has been quietly expanding its target market into retail for some time now. For instance, a few years ago, Revel signed Buff City Soaps as a customer, which is now using the Revel POS at its 200+ retail locations. This major customer win for Revel was quickly followed by the debut of Revel Guard XT, which is an enterprise solution that allows for the close monitoring of all devices in a store or chain of stores.

Both of these developments signal the company’s increasing focus on the retail sector, which likely means less time and resources will be dedicated to restaurants as the company seeks to satisfy both sectors. If you plan to be with your POS provider for the long haul, this is something to consider because you don’t want to have to worry that the company’s time and energy will be poured into other sectors.


Ultimately, it goes without saying that every restaurant is different and that no POS system is one-size-fits-all. As this comparison of Revel Systems vs TouchBistro shows, each system is best suited to a very different type of restaurant. All you need to do is figure out which one seems like the best fit for you and your business.

Know someone who needs a new restaurant POS or is looking at Revel alternatives? Refer them to TouchBistro and get rewarded.

Photo of Katherine Pendrill
by Katherine Pendrill

Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.

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