Revel ferments custom tablet POS solution for wineries

The platform was born out of a custom project that the point-of-sale technology startup created for HALL Wines in California's Napa Valley.


A custom tablet point-of-sale (POS) integration created by Revel Systems for HALL Wines has matured into a full-blown solution for wineries, complete with software that can handle the industry's strict and complex shipping laws. 

Developing the system required integration of Revel Systems' cloud-based POS application with ShipCompliant, a Web service that wineries and spirits companies use to ensure compliance with laws governing direct shipments to consumers and to calculate the taxes and duties that must be paid for transactions. Different states have different laws governing what can be sent where.

"As a winery, we have very specific requirements for shipping and liquor laws," said Jeff Zappelli, director of membership at HALL and WALT Wines, which is initially using 20 iPads outfitted with the software at its location in St. Helena, Calif. "Additionally, we need to offer our members and guests full visibility of their accounts, whether they are at home or here in wine country. In an effort to meet our needs, Revel has integrated the appropriate specifications into its point-of-sale solution, giving us a better tool to enhance the experience while also running our winery successfully."

A big focus for HALL and its sister operations is establishing direct relationships with wine consumers, Zappelli said. The tablets enable winery staff to roam and mingle with visitors, letting them complete sales across the tasting rooms. 

The platform also links to HALL's e-commerce solution (created in Magento) and to its existing back office systems (based on Microsoft Dynamics), as well as the customer loyalty programs that the winery uses, he said.  

This isn't San Francisco-based Revel Systems' first foray into industry-specific solutions: the company also has created a solution for stadium concessions, and for food trucks . There are also solutions for bars, coffee shops, and pizza restaurants. Many of Revel's enterprise customers require integration services of some sort to help make the tablets a more seamless extension of their existing processes, said Chris Ciabarra, co-founder and CTO of Revel Systems. 

Because the original project was a custom agreement, Revel Systems isn't talking about pricing, but Zappelli likened the fees to other ongoing maintenance licenses. When the company was first ramping up in mid-2012, it used to publish its pricing—around $1,000 for one iPad plus a monthly subscription of $100 for the cloud POS software (at that time). The company now requires prospective customers to contact it for pricing information.

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