The original idea came out of a personal need for where to go with our son. We felt uncomfortable walking into canteens and not being able to drive the child’s car through, or walking into a restaurant and realizing there was no changing table. We came up with the idea of opening a page on Facebook to bring together those places (hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, hairdressers…) that meet some minimum requirements to make life easier for parents with children when they seemed to be leaving home to function. We turned this Facebook into a website offering a directory of places and things to do,” explains Laura Alcober, the entrepreneur behind Pekefriendly.
The problem is that this is not a business. Or at least it’s not business enough to earn a page in Entrepreneurs. You can charge locals for being part of the chain, but Alcober (needless to say) was clear about not entering this market. “While giving these venues free airplay, we built a relationship with them and they told us what their problems were. For example, most of the restaurants we spoke to didn’t have high chairs and they also told us that they had trouble finding tablecloths for the kids to paint on. We realized that the business was in providing products to serve families,” he explains.
“We set out to define products: from illustrated paper tablecloths and paintings to glasses and organic juices. We wanted them to be eco, organic, recycled and of high quality. And the customers liked the offer.” You already have 100 branches and are now negotiating with hotel chains.
Why a website?
Laura Alcober, Founder of Pekefriendly, “The advantage we start with is that we don’t start from scratch with a product catalog to look for customers that we don’t know if we will convince, but that we do customers already have and we already know what they need…because they told us. Also, they have trusted us for a year. The institution’s perception of you is changing: we’ve been publicizing them for a year and now we’re offering them a service”.