LODGING AND BOARDING
The expansion of lodging and hoarding business in recent times has been mainly due to migration of people, on account of transfers in services, business transactions, people's habit to change their residence for some period and sales representatives, stray visitors and propagators moving from place to place. At the educational centres and at the district place, the occupation of providing lodging and boarding is lucrative and hence popular. However as compared to restaurants, boarding houses are few in number and lodging and boarding houses are still fewer. The occupation has gradually developed only during the last forty years. It is not hereditary in character. Almost all the lodging and boarding houses are run on ownership basis. They generally occupy rented premises. Most of the boarding houses are of medium size. The boarding houses are generally found at every taluka headquarters and at the district place but
the same is not true about the lodging houses. The boarding
houses are found almost in all parts of a town, but the lodging
boarding houses are situated nearabout the prominent
places such as bus-stands, railway stations, etc. The quality of
the food served by these boarding houses depends on the
number of customers visiting the establishments, the rates
charged by them, the management and the availability of
Accessories consist of foodgrains, condiments and spices,
groundnut oil, vegetable ghee and vegetables in a vegetarian boarding house. The requirements of a non-vegetarian establishment, in addition to the above, include fish, mutton (specially of he-goats) and eggs. The amount of raw materials consumed depends upon the turnover of the establishment. A big establishment spends from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 every month on raw materials; while in case of medium-sized establishments the expenditure on the same item varies from about Rs. 300 to Rs. 700. The small boarding houses need Rs. 150 to Rs. 300 for purchasing the accessories for the same period.
Tools and Equipment.
Except very few lodging and boarding houses which are well
equipped, tools and equipment of most of the establishments are neither adequate nor decent. Some chairs or benches, small dining tables or even pats (low stools) are used for dining purpose. A few benches are also kept in the waiting room or drawing room, if any. Dishes, bowls and pots of different sizes constitute the common utensils required for cooking, serving meals and storage. The stock of the utensils depends on the size of the establishment. The equipment of lodging houses in the district comprises few cots-iron or wooden-, few mattresses, pillows and bed-sheets. The amount spent on tools and equipment varies with the size of the establishment. It is Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,300 in big lodging and boarding houses. The investment of the medium-sized boarding houses in the same item varies from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000, while the small boarding houses require Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 for purchasing tools and equipment. The other amenities such as radio sets, etc., are very rarely found in the lodging and boarding houses.
The capital invested in the business of providing lodging and
boarding is fixed capital and working capital. The fixed capital is on items such as cooking utensils, pots required for serving meals, furniture, etc., while the working capital represents purchase of raw-materials. Some amount is also required periodically for replacing cooking utensils, dishes, bowls, etc., when they become worn out. The capital is often secured by way of cash advances from customers on monthly basis, or from relatives or friends. Sometimes the owners raise their own capital. In the case of lodging houses, after initial investment by way of fixed capital for equipping the tenements, working capital plays a very insignificant part. A big lodging and hoarding house in Amravati was found to have fixed capital of Rs. 3,000 and
working capital of Rs. 1,800. The average fixed and working
capital invested in a medium-sized boarding house is Rs. 538
and Rs. 364, respectively, whereas it is Rs. 325 and Rs. 215,
respectively, in a small-sized boarding house.
The total number of employees in all the nine establishments
that were surveyed was 27, out of whom 15 were paid employees
and 12 were owners and their family members. The monthly wages paid to the servants varied according to the nature of the work and ranged between Rs. 15 and Rs. 70. The skilled workers like cooks, etc., were paid more. A cook was paid between Rs. 40 and Rs. 60 and other workers between Rs. 15 and Rs. 30 per month and in addition were served with tea and two meals a day- Due to not very satisfactory working conditions, this type of labour was of a floating nature.
The turnover of the boarding house depends on the number x of its permanent members and the casual customers who visit it. The management of the establishment, the quality of food that the establishment serves and its location also affect the turnover of an establishment. Meals are prepared and served twice a day- They are served either on "rice-plate system" or on full-meal basis, to permanent members or to casual customers. In a
lodging house, a lodger is provided with a cot, mattress, a pillow and a bed-sheet. Arrangements for bath and washing of clothes are also made. The daily turnover of a big establishment varies from Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 while that of a medium-sized establishment varies from Rs. 50 to Rs. 70.
Income and Expenditure.
The items of the expenditure are rent, electricity, municipal taxes, wages to the labourers, raw materials and utensils required for cooking. The expenditure on these items varies according to the size of the establishment. The monthly expenditure of a big establishment in the district varies from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 and that of a medium-sized establishment, from about Rs. 400 to Rs. 600. As regards the net earnings of these establishments, the large-sized and medium-sized lodging and boarding houses earn Rs. 500 and Rs. 700 per month, respectively, while the boarding houses earn between Rs. 200 and Rs. 300, per month.