Minot Restaurants See Low Customer Traffic with Oil Struggles

For Dave Shomento and his daughter Angie Osborn, they've had to ride the wave of business from the oil industry in North Dakota.

Dave recently passed down Minot eatery Sammy's Pizza to Angie. He said that while they're still maintaining good business, they have felt the pinch of the oil drawdown.

"Sales dollars are down, the people coming through the door are down, you can feel it in the air,” said Shomento.

But those who work in the restaurant industry say that when the economy suffers, pizza sales typically go up.

"With pizza having a decline, that goes directly back to foot traffic. It's head count, and numbers in the door,” said Al Lee, who works in the restaurant industry.

Across town, another family business holds strong. The dining room at Schatz Crossroads remains full with happy, and loyal, customers.

"If we're going up to Williston, pheasant hunting, or something, we'll stop on the way up, and on the way home, too,” said Schatz customer David Richman.

But while the kitchen remains bustling, outside the diesel stalls are not.

Where trucks once lined up two years ago, now they roll in one at a time to fill up.

"Diesel sales reflect transport. You know, transporting groceries to grocery stores, transporting food to restaurants, transporting lumber to lumber yards, building, etc. So our diesel sales have seen a decline," said Schatz Crossroads operations manager Krista Marshall.

These and many other businesses will have to continue to adjust to the changing economy.

"We still find that business is stable, and our numbers are great, but they're not what they were two years ago,” said Marshall.

"It's gonna give us a reality check of 'we're back to real life again,’” said Lee.

Tomorrow Joe will take a look at how the oil slowdown has affected the hotel industry in Minot.