More than three-quarters of Hobart cafes and eateries were found to be in breach of workplace laws following snap audits of 45 premises by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
32 businesses underpaid 376 workers more than $582,000.
Fair Work Inspectors targeted businesses at North Hobart, Salamanca/Battery Point and Constitution Dock and found that almost 80 per cent failed to comply with workplace laws.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says it's disappointing vulnerable groups like young people and visa holders were apparently targeted.
"The biggest problem we found was underpayment of minimum wages and not paying casual loading rates," said Ms Parker of the snap audits.
"We've taken significant compliance and enforcement activity; we've got a matter in court and we possibly have another business taken to court as well."
The Salamanca Wharf Cafe is apparently in serious hot water.
Facing court is cafe operator Welvin and Kevin Pty Ltd, company director Zhi Zhi Tan and company majority shareholder and manager Qingxiang (Kevin) Meng.
The FWO alleges the company without reasonable excuse, failed to fully comply with a Compliance Notice, which required it to pay the workers’ outstanding entitlements.
Both Tan and Meng were allegedly involved in the breach.