About Founding Footsteps
Tim McAleer was an English teacher who picked up tour guiding gigs during his summers off. However, after performing stand-up comedy in New York, McAleer decided he really enjoyed engaging others, and decided to pursue full-time work as a tour guide in Philadelphia.
Four years later, McAleer was inspired to start his own tour company after participating in an engaging tour of Asheville with LaZoom, another Peek partner. “I had such a unique experience on a LaZoom tour, that I was motivated to start a similar style of tour in Philadelphia, Founding Footsteps.”
Founding Footsteps combines storytelling, comedy and cheesy jokes on a BYOB trolley and walking tour through Philly. “We offer comedic history tours that take visitors to the city’s most popular destinations and hidden favorites,” he said. “Our goal is to foster personal and unique experiences and provide customers with the history of the city.” In September, they launched a comedy pub crawl and hope to continue to create valuable and entertaining experiences.
Before partnering with Peek, McAleer relied on in-person sales to get bookings. “I thought I’d be able to sell tickets on the streets,” he said. “My wife and former English students canvassed the streets for a day and didn’t sell a single ticket. I realized that I needed an online booking system in order to reach customers before they even got to the city.”
In addition to increasing his number of bookings, McAleer was also interested in streamlining his business operations, so he did not have to field too many phone calls or manually send emails, confirmations and follow-up notices. He also sought ways to promote his brand.
As a small company, it was important to McAleer that he find a partner aligned with his goals: to ensure that customers get a valuable and unique experience. He didn’t have to look far for an online booking partner—McAleer again followed LaZoom’s footsteps. “I like that Peek helps me cater to customers,” he said. “The customer is always informed about their bookings via automatic emails, reminders and texts.”
Since partnering with Peek, McAleer’s seen a 30% increase in bookings. “I love that Peek helps me increase my bookings and doesn’t cost a ton out of pocket,” he said. “About 95% of my bookings come from TripAdvisor and Peek.”
Thanks to Peek’s automatic emails, McAleer also saves a significant amount of time each day. “I used to make 38 phone calls and send out countless emails and notices,” he said. “I needed at least 3 employees to do this on a weekly basis. Now, when customers book, they automatically receive an email confirming their booking. I love that everything is automated.” McAleer can also reach out to customers using Peek’s mobile app, which lets him text and call customers.
Peek’s Smart Reviews feature also helps McAleer establish legitimacy and promote his brand. “We haven’t been open long and we already have over 190 reviews, all 5-stars except for two 4-stars!” he said. “We’re ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for Philadelphia Nightlife.”
Overall, McAleer is grateful he’s partnered with Peek and impressed by its excellent service. “I spoke to Alex [a former Peek representative] about a month after she left the company and she had so many great things to say about Peek,” he said. “When a former employee takes the time to answer questions and rave about their old job, that says a lot about the experience Peek provides for their employees and their clients.”