BUSTLING: Vic's Cafe has had to hire extra staff to cope with demand.
GOING GANGBUSTERS: Pomeroy's reopened about a month after the February quake.
Christchurch bars, cafes and restaurants say they are enjoying 20 to 40 per cent more business than before the February 2011 earthquake.
Some have hired more staff to cope with the influx of customers as a result of fewer places for people to go.
Vic's Cafe owner Graham Perrem said he was up about 30 per cent on pre-quake business.
He attributed it to more roads being open and fewer cafes around.
He had hired a couple more staff to cope.
''It reminded me of when we opened 13 years ago,'' he said. ''We're busy all the time now.''
Pomeroys' Old Brewery Inn owner Steve Pomeroy said once the bar reopened about a month after the quake, things had gone ''gangbusters''.
Business was possibly up 20 per cent now than before quake, and he had hired about three extra staff.
''In general, who has got a pub up and running is certainly better off and doing well,'' he said.
Dux Live owner Richard Sinke said many bar owners were up 40 per cent on what they had expected, but the gains were more a ''blip'' than a boom.
''If you take out half the competition, and the better half at that, those that remain have a good chance to do well,'' he said.
Sinke said it would be ''interesting'' to see what happened when more of the ''mature'' operators got back into the market in the next two to three years.
''If the boom doesn't happen, there will be a lot of people strugging,'' he said.
Hospitality Association Canterbury president Peter Morrison said customers were not spending more; it was simply that more people were going to fewer places.
''It's a supply-and-demand thing. The customer is actually spending less because of the recession,'' he said.
The profits operators were seeing now would even out as more places opened, he said.