Revel, makers of the iPad-based complete POS solution that also includes supplemental hardware like receipt printers and cash drawers, today unveiled its latest product, a POS system designed specifically for food trucks. The company sees food trucks as a special sub-segment of the food service industry, with specific requirements that it felt weren’t adequately addressed by existing solutions.
Food trucks are definitely gaining steam, especially in the U.S. It’s been estimated that the world market for mobile food offerings will be a sizeable one, reaching $2.6 billion in value by 2017. Most of that growth is being driven by the U.S., thanks to gourmet food trucks popping up in major urban centers like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Portland. It’s a trend with legs, and Revel co-founder and CTO Chris Ciabarra says he doesn’t see it fizzling out anytime soon.
“Food trucks have been slow-growing, but right now it’s just booming,” he said. “You look at the factor of not having to pay rent, and right now there’s a lot of organizations renting new food trucks than ever before and it’s booming, the trade shows are booming. A lot of these places don’t want to have the hefty startup costs of a huge restaurant when then can just put everything on a truck and drive around and get to more people at once.”
A key ingredient of Revel’s new truck-oriented POS is its Revel Router, the go-anywhere router replacement that’s an Apple-certified accessory. It replaces the need for network access from an internet service provider, instead using the iPad’s built-in 3G and 4G. For food trucks, that’s an especially important advantage to have, given that they’re often without consistent, dependable wired internet connections.
Other value-add features for Revel’s system include tools for tweeting directly from the POS, and integration with Revel’s partners, including LevelUp for mobile payments. Overall, Ciabarra thinks that what Revel is offering provides significant advantages over competing systems and mobile solutions.
“They get all the third-party plugins, and inventory control features, basically anything they can think of they can plug in,” he said. “They also have the kiosks, the line-busters [a Revel product to send out staff to take orders in the line itself with remote ordering systems], and everything else our system offers.”
For Revel, more vertical-specific products means more opportunities to get people using their platform. And the food truck product also has the ability to use Revel’s customer-facing kiosk mode, which is something a lot of food trucks have been taking advantage of in order to deal with busy lineups and high demand. Plugging into more additional service add-ons like LevelUp will help the company grow even faster, too, and could keep it ahead of new offerings from the likes of Square, PayPal and others that are clearly becoming interested in competing in the POS market.