New Zealand Restaurant Association figures show Canterbury is second only to Bay of Plenty in hospitality business growth.
While business is booming, hospitality employers are struggling to retain staff
Botanic Bar manager Matilda Contreras said finding staff was not hard, but keeping them was.
"We can easily get people for a couple of months [backpackers] but after that reliable people who stay longer than a couple of months is harder."
She said a lot of people, who were willing to work in hospitality, were only available for two months, and that meant the process of training staff was a constant struggle.
On top of this, owners were concerned about the planned minimum wage rises.