Fat Hippo – Powered by Lightspeed

Fat Hippo: The Buzzy Burger Hotspot in High Growth Mode

Fat Hippo began life in a leafy suburb of Newcastle out of founder Mike Phillips’ love for great burgers. The restaurant – whose name is a nod to the sociable, hungry animal – soon became a firm favourite with locals thanks to its quality produce, quirky flavours and welcoming atmosphere.

Fast forward more than a decade, and the brand has expanded across the country, with sites spanning from north to south.

A restaurant with outdoor seating with people sat outside eating and drinking

Business type:

Casual dining


18 locations across the UK

A platform that powers growth

The Covid-19 pandemic created big challenges for the hospitality industry, but for Fat Hippo, it was also a time for growth, opening 10 restaurants since 2020. But, with growth comes the need for a platform that can handle that. When Fat Hippo began growing their herd, they switched from their previous ePOS provider because they needed a feature-rich system that could work across all sites.

“Lightspeed is one of the market leaders. There's so many different inventory management systems, scheduling systems and accounting systems that all pull from Lightspeed. And, when you're going from three sites up to 18, you need that consolidation of data. You need actual figures the moment they're happening. And Lightspeed gives that to us.” said Richard Nelson, Executive Chef at Fat Hippo.

A person holding a fried chicken burger with their hands

Consistency across all locations

By using Lightspeed technology, Fat Hippo has been able to grow, and still offer the same top-quality food and service.

“Lightspeed has allowed us to create a simple customer journey flow for our servers and front-of-house team that can be easily taught to new starters in the business. This efficient process gives the team time to focus on customers, as well as upsell our products and increase spend per head.” said Richard.

A restaurant dining room with tables and wooden chairs with cutlery on the table in a pot

Success lies in simplicity

While Lightspeed is feature-rich, it couldn’t be simpler to use, which is exactly what Fat Hippo needed.

“The user interface on Lightspeed just keeps getting better and better with each implementation. And, it’s such an easy system to pick up. You can do a 45 minute walk through and it's shocking how quickly new starters can pick up how to place an order, how to put it through on the tablet and use Lightspeed.” explained Richard.

Many members of the Fat Hippo family move between restaurant locations, and Lightspeed makes that transition seamless.

“Once staff are trained on Lightspeed, any employee from any of our locations can move to any other Fat Hippo restaurant in the country and use the ePOS right away.” Richard added.

A fried chicken burger with a bowl of chips, a bottle of Aperol and a glass of Aperol Spritz

The importance of integrations

Whether it’s the creation of new menus, counting stock or doing end of day reports, Lightspeed’s integrations let Fat Hippo be consistent across all their restaurants.

“One of the reasons we made the push to Lightspeed was the integration with MarketMan, and having an inventory management system with the correct data in it.”

It’s not just ease of use, but the opportunity to make more money, too. By integrating Lightspeed with Paymentsense, Fat Hippo has seen a significant rise in tips.

“Paymentsense makes that payment process a lot more instantaneous, and the prompts asking customers to tip are a lot smoother. We've noticed some of the sites have a 50% to 60% increase alone per week which is having a massive effect on staff morale and staff retention.” said Richard.

A metal tray topped with a cheeseburger and loaded fries
The outside of a restaurant with black awning and the words Fat Hippo

“There's so many different inventory management systems, scheduling systems and accounting systems that all pull from Lightspeed. And, when you're going from three sites up to 18, you need that consolidation of data.”

Richard Nelson, Executive Chef at Fat Hippo

Fat Hippo uses Lightspeed Restaurant to grow their herd.

Find out how you can too.