Retailers and Restaurateurs Using Revel Can Actually Run Their Businesses Instead of Putting Out Fires

Retailers and Restaurateurs Using Revel Can Actually Run Their Businesses Instead of Putting Out Fires

Clothing & Apparel, E-commerce, Garden Centers, Gift Stores, Museums Attractions, Restaurant, Retail, Specialty Retail, Sporting Goods, Wine & Liquor

… But that’s only part of why Retail Control Systems has partnered with them. Here’s why you should care.

By John Garvey


Revel is an iPad point-of-sale (POS) solution that provides the simplicity of Square with the power of a much larger system. It includes mobile POS and e-commerce capabilities, employee scheduling, customer relationship management (CRM) and inventory management solutions. It takes minimal time to onboard.

It’s powerful. Revel provides you with business intelligence, operations and management tools that you didn’t previously have access to at a reasonable price.

It’s easy. Revel is user-friendly enough to allow you to devote your time to actually running your business.Business planning

Revel was founded in 2010 by Chris Ciabarra and Lisa Falzone—two people who were too stubborn to believe the pizza shops and restaurants they frequented couldn’t have POS systems with third-party integrations, mobile payment capabilities and business intelligence tools big players could afford. Convinced that it was technically possible to help small retailers and restaurateurs get more money in the door with less hassle, they developed what is now Revel.

Today, Revel’s technology has surpassed the abilities and reliability of many competitors. It’s novel but proven.

Is Revel right for you?

It depends.

One reason we at RCS have partnered with Revel is that they have a very similar culture to ours. We know a lot of their executive team from having done business in the retail space. When we first met to begin exploring a partnership, we already knew half the faces in the room.

We’re excited to be able to offer a comparatively inexpensive retail and restaurant support platform with great functionality. That’s hard to pull off.

If you’re contemplating using Revel, here are some questions you may be asking:

1.What kinds of businesses are most likely to benefit from using Revel?

  • Revel is perfect for both smaller retailers and restaurants. They’re restaurant experts. They have inventory management tools , built-in tip functionality and other features. These make onboarding easier and eliminate the need for customization.
  • Multi-location retailers can manage all their operations from a single account, transferring inventory between stores, scheduling employees, running reports and attending to other needs.
  • For those just getting started, Revel cuts back on hardware costs, allowing you to conduct all operations, from an iPad. You get the ease of use of the iPad with true Retail hardware including cash drawers, credit card readers, receipt printers and barcode scanners. Revel even has a scale integration if you sell items by weight. It also saves hours of time on employee onboarding because it’s so easy to use.
  • For retailers with an older version of Counterpoint or another POS system, Revel may provide a cost-effective solution that will get you the latest technology at a reasonable rate.

Interested in Revel?  Schedule a personalized demo in minutes. We’ll collaboratively determine whether it’s a good match for you.

2. What are the top three or so concerns people might have when exploring Revel as an option?

Growth. Some retailers may be concerned that they’ll outgrow Revel. When deliberating between, say, Revel and NCR Counterpoint, this is worthy of consideration. If you are projecting rapid growth in the near future, Revel may not be the right choice for you.

Mobile and e-commerce. For those concerned with mobile and online ordering capabilities, Revel will delight. It is excellent in both regards. Customers can complete orders anywhere as long as an associate is there to assist them. This keeps things personable while cutting back on lines. Associates can also process credit cards from pop up shops, trade shows, food trucks and the like.

Flexibility. Finally, Revel has a flexible, customizable e-commerce platform for omnichannel retailers. You can keep your credit card processing system if that suits you. You don’t need to create a new account each time you open a new location. Etc. Revel won’t rope you into anything that doesn’t make sense for your business.

That said, Revel has less customization than Counterpoint. Do you need to build a custom integration that’s out of the ordinary for a retail system? If so, Counterpoint is probably a better solution.

3. How will Revel and RCS leverage one another’s unique capabilities to benefit retailers?

Revel has superb, proven technology, and ease of use is one of their main focuses. We at RCS have tons of experiences working with retailers through practically every challenge imaginable.

In spite of Revel’s focus on user-friendliness, nothing is 100 percent intuitive. This is the value of our overall approach to business partnerships, including our partnership with Revel. We’re here to provide you the training and ongoing assistance to make the best use of it.

Focus on managing your business, not your POS system

Retailers increasingly need to become experts in a wide range of topics. These include digital marketing, supply chain management and managing a workforce with different expectations that the retail workforce of decades prior. The right POS provider will ease those challenges, not just by providing you the right tools but by partnering with you.

With regard to employee management, Revel’s user-friendly platform and easy onboarding process provide small businesses a dual advantage: minimal training time and a less frustrating work environment. All things equal, that has a real potential to reduce turnover. When turnover does occur, it reduces the cost associated with training new employees.

  • CRM
  • Loyalty programs
  • Intelligent business reporting
  • Low inventory alerts
  • Employee scheduling

About Revel:

Revel was founded in 2010 by  —two people who were too stubborn to believe the pizza shops and restaurants they frequented couldn’t have POS systems with third-party integrations, mobile payment capabilities and business intelligence tools big players could afford. Convinced that it was technically possible to help small retailers and restauranteurs get more money in the door with less hassle, they developed what is now Revel.

How to keep your garden center successful in the slow season

How to keep your garden center successful in the slow season

Garden Centers

How to Keep Your Garden Center Successful in the Slow Season

by John Garvey

Green Chile Peppers

Hatch green chiles are all the rage in the late summer and fall, but try the Colorado chiles at Denver-based Country Fair Garden Center and you might become a convert for life.

“Everybody has their own thoughts about chiles,” says Marketing Manager Candi  Gerace, “but these are bigger, they’re thicker, they’re meatier. I’ve always done the Colorado chiles.”

The smell of chiles roasting has near universal appeal. Smell is the only one of our five senses that doesn’t get run through a filter before identification, which is why it can send us immediately into a reverie. It’s also the sense most strongly associated with memory. That’s one reason visiting a garden center is worthwhile any day, any month.

Yet gardening is, for many, a seasonal hobby. That’s a challenge garden centers must contend with year after year, with up to 2/3 of annual sales concentrated in the spring months. Riding out those seasonal fluctuations requires strategic thinking, but it can be fun, too.

Community engagement through workshops and fares

“As far as increasing sales in the off season, we try different things all the time, whether it be different types of sales, bringing in different types of product different classes, additional advertising,” Gerace tells us.

“The chile roasting is great. … We started chile roasting in August, so we’ve been doing it about four weeks now. We get our chiles in Colorado—they’re Pueblo chiles. We chose to support our local farmers.”

Gerace is excited about several upcoming workshops and events. For instance, Country Fair is hosting a cleanup and lawn care workshop on October 7. The following Saturday there will be a pumpkin painting, and on October 21st, children gearing up for Halloween can enjoy a spooky fairy garden.

After all, nature doesn’t just hang up her hat from October to March.

Garden Center Retail Store

“We increase house plant sales and we do a large Christmas—of course, poinsettias, Christmas trees, live trees. And that’s what we focus on,” Gerace continues. “We bring in a few more lines, offer a lot of hands on classes, especially in the fall and around the holidays. So people can make their own wreaths or their own mantel piece. We do a lot with house plants in January/February making succulent gardens and cactus gardens.”

The garden center probably has 20 varieties of succulent at a given time, Gerace estimates.

“You almost never have the exact plants. It’s just the nature of this industry. You get the same species, different varieties. … But we have all the basics, all the time.”

County Fair Garden Center recently opened a second location, and our software point of sale and inventory management system, NCR Counterpoint, helps with ordering, inventory and transfers between the two stores. Check out their calendar for educational events and fairs like the annual Holiday Fair in November.

New specialties

Another option to attract more off-season business is specializing in indoor gardening and hydroponics. That’s a culture decision, because here in Colorado it attracts a different set of clientele than people who grow seasonal produce or perennials. Mountain Lion Garden Supply, in Laporte, CO, specializes in grow lights, indoor pest management and fertilizer in addition to outdoor gardening.

Founder Mike Walsh is a graduate of the Colorado State University Horticulture program with a concentration in Floriculture. Walsh does consulting for garden centers wishing to tap into the indoor gardening market. He too is a client of ours.

Contact Mountain Lion Garden Supply.


The off season is a great time to focus on business planning and maintenance activities, special events and cultivating relationships. Other local businesses and organizations are often great collaborators. For instance, Country Fair Gardens is a pick up location for Grant Farms, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) based in Wellington, CO. It’s been a fruitful partnership that brings people in during the off season.

“They’re a great group of people,” says Gerace with a smile.

It’s even a good time to talk in person with other business owners to see how they manage seasonal fluctuations in sales.


First, for timing your purchases to avoid excess inventory or spoilage, a user-friendly, reliable inventory planning system like NCR Counterpoint is invaluable.

Garden Center Retail Store

If you’re running a garden center, you believe gardening is a fun, year-round activity. With a good off-season marketing strategy, you can convert “fair-weather” gardeners to year-round customers with winter greenhouse miniature gardening, indoor fairy gardens, seasonal produce like autumn squash (so wonderful) and hydroponics.

“No matter what type of seasonal business you own, it’s possible to be profitable all year round if you’re disciplined, manage your time and explore your options,” Entrepreneur Magazine, reports.

Read general tips about what garden centers and other businesses have done to bring in additional off-season revenues and manage cash flow here and here.

Remember that the predictability of the seasons can be an advantage because it allows garden centers to plan. Gone is the luck and guesswork some sectors like commodities face. Although seasonality is a big challenge, it provides managers with something of a rudder, compass and steering wheel.

Trends and fun

Fairy gardening. It’s a thing. Wings optional.

“Fairy gardening is still going very strong,” Gerace tells us. “They put a lot of accessories in their gardens, little fairies, little benches, basically anything that we have in our home I can find in fairy gardening now.

“They’re cute, they’re fun, they can be indoor, they can be outdoor. All my classes, we design them to be more indoor, being in Colorado.”

Also ask yourself what you can do to create more of a destination shopping experience. Children’s activities are a great way to do that. One garden center in Canada even added a beekeeping operation and petting zoo, although before you go bonkers, that’s more of a point of interest than a suggestion.

Keep bringing la passion

“I love plants, love plants. That’s why I do what I do,” Gerace beams.

“And that’s what’s rewarding, is to put gardens together for people just so they can enjoy the beauty, or enjoy the produce from an actual vegetable garden.”

It’s true: eating a home grown tomato just ruins store-bought produce.