Cafe owners are calling for "business anew" as they hope numbers will soon return to normal in quake-stricken Kaikoura.

Wendy and Danny Smith, who own Why Not Cafe in Kaikoura, are waiting for running water and sewerage to return so they can reopen.

The couple are keen to adopt the saying "businesses anew" as a way of seeing hope after the earthquake.

"It's not business as usual because we've had a big disaster. But it's business anew. It's a whole new beginning for Kaikoura," said Danny.

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The owners returned to their cafe remarkably unscathed after Monday's devastating quake.

Piles of plates were still where they should be and only a mixer had fallen to the floor.

Danny said this might be because the cafe was on a limestone base which was more stable than clay in the tremors.

The couple, who usually get 150,000 people coming through their cafe doors every year, hope those numbers will return to normal as the dust settles.