Opening a Restaurant Not Easy in Williston | VideoEvan Kruegel | 1/7/2013
"Hands down the toughest part about running a business in Williston is the housing. Without a doubt," he said.
Holt was able to lease three houses near the restaurant, where he houses nine of his 15 employees. "When you live and work with people it`s always a challenge, but in Williston we`ve made it clear that we all have to get along and communicate well, because there`s no time apart."
Holt and his partner own a similar restaurant back home in Bozeman, Montana. But prices at the Williston store are roughly 15 percent higher. "We`re about $1.50 higher, so we feel that`s fair. It justifies the amount of money we pay for rent and for high wages here. It`s four to five dollars more an hour that we pay here, than in Montana."
He says the high wages are not ideal, but it`s the only way to compete with oil-sector jobs. "We get a lot of business here in Williston just due to the amount of people and the lack of food service, so we`re able to pay them what they deserve."
Retail companies have been nervous to set up shop in Williston, but the success of at least a few is a promising sign for the city.
"Itís challenging. It`s not as easy as just putting a help wanted sign in your window when you`re looking for employees in Williston, but it is doable. There are some challenges, but we`re getting over the hump on these challenges, and it`s going to take some time but eventually we`ll be up and running smoothly,Ē said Assistant Director of Williston Economic Development Shawn Wenko.
Wenko says finding available housing is the key, but successful companies like Three Amigos show that new restaurants can thrive in Williston, they just need to get creative.