Can offering a steep discount on glasses of wine draw a younger crowd into a restaurant? Guido’s Pizza Pasta Panini hopes so.
On Wednesdays, the Italian restaurant has begun offering customers a glass of Italian house wine for $1.
Started almost 18 years ago by Sean and Susan Devereaux, Guido’s is one of several Italian cuisine options in Durango. Amber Jacin, daughter of the Devereauxs, joined their endeavor in 2013. Since then, Guido’s has worked to offer the community more than fresh pasta and friendly customer service.
“We try to do different things to get people to come in,” Jacin said. “We’ve been around a long time, and we have a great following with a certain age group, but we want to bring in a younger crowd.”
According to a study by Bankrate.com, more than 50 percent of millennials go out for food and drinks more than four times a week. Jacin said she hopes the promotion will help that demographic see Guido’s as an affordable option.
“We are trying to appeal to more college kids that want to come in here but think they can’t afford to,” Jacin said. “I think once they see our menu, they will realize we have some really reasonably priced things.”
To accomplish that goal, the family decided to offer house wine in red or white for $1 per glass on Wednesdays, limited to three per customer. The idea came from a popular restaurant Jacin visited in New Orleans that offers 25-cent martinis on Fridays.
“I thought it was such a cool idea because it brings people in, and it’s kind of a thing – something cool and fun,” Jacin said. “So I thought, ‘We have an all-Italian wine list, which is unique itself; so we can do a dollar wine deal and see what happens.’”
Now in its third week, Jacin said customers are shocked they offer the deal without a catch, such as the purchase of an entree. Originally, Jacin planned to end this promotion in January, but its success has the family thinking about making it a weekly special.
“I don’t know anywhere else that you can get a nice, quality glass of wine for a dollar,” Jacin said. “You can come in with 12 bucks and get a glass of wine and bowl of pasta.”
In addition to Wine Wednesdays, the restaurant will host cooking classes Mondays, language classes Thursdays and special pop-up events throughout the year. In the food community, pop-up events are used to promote a chef or introduce a new concept. However, for Guido’s, these events mean their dining experience is entirely transformed for an evening.
“For a night, we become a totally different restaurant from Guido’s,” Jacin said. “We invite 50 people maximum, and put on a show for about two hours. We have done Vietnamese food, Mexican, Spanish tapas and Asian fusion.”
In the future, Jacin said the community can count on more promotions and events, including a dog fashion show this summer.