Bargains for mums
A new website which aims to direct mums towards useful bargains has just gone nationwide this week.
Mummy Mondays is a spin-off of the popular childfriendly.co.uk site.
It is different from other family deal sites, says Conrad Doyle, which “tend to adopt high value deals like fish pedicures”. “They are probably not as relevant to mums with younger children,” he says. “They are more interested in local deals in their neighbourhood cafe than fish pedicures on the other side of London.”
Mums can search Mummy Mondays by location for deals, but it is available only once they register on childfriendly.co.uk or its Facebook site.
Childfriendly.co.uk was set up five years ago by Conrad and his business partner after a lot of research.
Conrad's background is in the travel industry. He started in sales and moved into PR and marketing for a luxury tour operator. He became interested in online marketing in travel, worked for Opodo and then for eBookers. It was there he came up with the idea for childfriendly.co.uk. His business partner had children and was finding it hard to research family travel and leisure.
The business operated remotely and part-time at first. It is now based at an office in Mortlake. It has been growing rapidly and now has 10,000 listings of childfriendly holidays, restaurants, pubs and days out in the UK and abroad.
The site works with some of the big tour operators, such as First Choice. Reviews cover everything from babysitting availability to kids clubs.
In the UK, there are 30 local editors who are responsible for their local areas and getting reviews from a family point of view. “Very often it is more about the attitude of restaurants and pubs than the facilities on offer,” says Conrad. “It tends to be more important to families that the staff are welcoming rather than that they have a high chair.”
He says since childfriendly.co.uk was set up there have been big improvements in childfriendliness in pubs and restaurants. “Chains like Pizza Express have got it covered now. They have done a lot of user testing. More and more pubs are also more child friendly. Five years ago they were less tolerant of children. Now many have kids' menus, but we are still a long way off countries like Spain which don't need a childfriendly site,” says Conrad.
Childfriendly.co.uk makes its money by selling holidays and hotels and can therefore afford not to charge businesses commission to list their low value deals on Mummy Mondays, such as two for ones on coffees at a local cafe. “Because we are not charging commission we can offer permanent deals and we are building up a good database of these,” says Conrad.