HOPSY: The story so far

Jamie Norman
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

In 2018, two budding entrepreneurs met in a lift. One a solution-orientated developer looking for his next project. The other a business-driven creator, seeking a partner to make his idea come to life. As luck would have the two hit it off. And the rest is, well, HOPSY.

So how did this chance encounter turn into the go-to hospitality platform for so many within the hospitality industry?

Every idea starts with a problem. Co-founders Philip Dears and Jamie Norman observed two: the world is full of paper and it makes the way we run our businesses inefficient. Secondly, people don’t often solve their operational problems, until it’s too late. So they set about developing the answer.

Hopsy is built on revolutionizing the way pubs, restaurants and bars operate. As a part of the Devtropolis family, HOPSY is just one of many software solutions that lead the way for a simpler future of business management.

How it all began


Phil was sick of paperwork. It happened when he bought a house. When he got a new job. When he went to the doctors or signed up for a loyalty card. Every office, clinic, estate agent, and event required page upon page of manually written information. It was bad for the planet, his and everyone's timekeeping.

After four years as a hospitality compliance consultant, Phil knew there must be a better way of working. A centralized app was the answer. Two years of unsuccessful attempts later, it was time to find help. Phil needed Jamie - he just had to meet him.

With 20 years of software engineering under his belt, Jamie Norman wanted a change. He was frustrated delivering innovative solutions in a boring business environment and set about building his own online booking platform for SMEs. Whilst Jamie was an expert in crafting the system, in hindsight, he should have had a business plan. Unsure on his next move, Jamie took the lift up to his co-working desk in Liverpool. Enter a six-foot three scouser named Phil.

A few months later, Devtropolis was born.

The seed behind the solution


Throughout Jamie’s career he noticed that there was a problem with problem solving. Rather than integrating quick wins, many solutions took on a complicated delivery stream, sometimes taking months to roll out.

This inspired their first ‘aha’ moment. Devtropolis would deliver immediate value. No setup fee. No big investment. Customers could save money, time and a fair few headaches as soon as they sign up. A luxury they wished they had themselves.

So what would these solutions be? Rather than go straight to the big boss, we spoke to the people on the floor. The bar staff - the carers - the cleaners - and you. This not only gave us a clear insight into the problems that staff face but the solutions that they wanted to see.

From penniless to HOPSY


With Phil's background in bar and restaurant compliance, he knew the hospitality industry could benefit the most, cutting down on time spent doing paperwork and compliance. And so our co-founders went about designing their first product.

Flat out broke and living off a bank loan, times were tough. And then COVID-19 came a-knocking. Within days, investment was pulled and pubs had shut up shop. We won’t pretend a bit of panic didn’t set in. But with a bit of that famous Liverpool spirit, Jamie and Phil got back to business.

Today HOPSY delivers game-changing solutions to pubs, restaurants, venues and bars across the nation. From staff management to everything to keep you compliant. All the operational tools you need to run your business are in one cohesive place.

The future of problem solving

Over the next three to five years you can expect to see a HOPSY for every industry, from construction to care homes. The need for cohesive online solutions is apparent not only to streamline business operations but to shift the dynamic in which people approach problem solving.

Too many times have we seen paper and pen schedules, rotas shared on Whatsapp and piles upon piles of scribbled on checklists. Devtropolis challenges the temporary fixes that turn into more problems down the line. With an easier and long term solution that is going to push your business forward and your staff are going to thank you for.

To ensure we are constantly evolving, we deliver features that are a direct answer to our clients’ problems. And our innovation isn’t just reserved for our customers. At Devtropolis, we are all entrepreneurs, no matter our role. Our teams are encouraged to learn, grow and contribute so that we all feel pride in our products. We even have our own internal system created by our in-house developers because the best problem solving starts at home.

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