HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS
Hotelling has become a flourishing business in recent times.
This may be due to a number of factors such as increasing economic activity and multiplicity of business transactions, increase in the facilities of transport and communications, change in the habits and tastes of the people, business tactics, the present mode of reception, etc. This is revealed by the rapidly increasing number of establishments and persons engaged in them over the past few years.
Except for a few small villages, tea-shops or similar establishments are found in almost all parts of the district. Their general get-up, firstly, depends much on their daily turnover and secondly, on the clientele, local or otherwise. Thus, there are number of tea-shops spread in the district and they fall into numerous categories. Some shops serve only hot drinks like tea. coffee, etc., some others sell hot drinks as well as cold beverages with snacks and in a few cases they serve meals too.
Tea-shops in the rural areas have their special characteristics. They are usually small and ill-equipped and do not present a very happy picture. Two or three benches constitute their furniture and they possess utensils and a little crockery of inferior quality. Sometimes it is very difficult to make out a tea-shop in a village, as it assumes the form of a hut thatched with grass or ordinary tiles or sometimes tin sheets. These shops serve a limited number of eatables, mostly shev, chivda, ladu, papad, etc. In some of the hotels fresh items like bhajia, usal, alu-bonda, etc. are also prepared once a day though they concentrate on serving tea. Tea-shops are usually situated near a bus-stand, if any, or near the bazar. The villagers half there to take rest and have a cup of tea. with sugar or gur. as the case may be. The business being inconsequential, the so-called proprietor of the shop also acts as a cashier, accountant, manager, cook, service-boy, etc.
On the other hand, tea-shops in urban areas present a different picture. They are better housed and sell a variety of eatables- fresh and dry. Their furniture consists of chairs, tables, glass-cupboards and n counter at the entrance. Their equipment also comprises good type of crockery, big utensils of brass and copper and a number of small utensils like glasses, spoons,
plates, etc. Facilities like wash-basin, fans are also provided in
some hotels or restaurants. They employ different persons for
different jobs such as manager, cooks, waiters, etc. Big hotels
are decently run by making them attractive to customers. Such
hotels have a separate kitchen on the backside of the premises
and they prepare special dishes. In such restaurants, customers
can relax comfortably as they are provided with radios,
cushioned furniture, separate small rooms and excellent service.
However, the rates charged by such hotels are pretty high and
as such they arc not within the reach of common customers.
Such hotels, however, are very few in Amravati district. In
Amravati city proper and in other towns like Badnera, Morshi,
Daryapur, etc., mostly medium-sized hotels are found. They
are established on what is known as the North Indian style. A
majority of the preparations like bhajia, shev, chakli, jilebi are
made just on either side of the entrance of the shop which can
clearly be seen from outside. However, they do maintain a
separate kitchen for some other preparations. The rates charged
by these shops are reasonable. Such establishments are found
almost in every corner of the important streets, in the bazar
area, near office buildings, railway stations and bus-stands and
The occupation provided employment to 359 persons in 1911 according to the census data. The 1931 census records the total number of such persons as 574. The number increased to 1,468 in 1951 according to the census figures. The persons employed consist of owners, managers, cooks and unskilled workers like waiters and service-boys. The 1961 census returns the persons in this occupation as 7,781 out of which 1,691 are employed in urban area.
Accessories comprise rice, wheat, gram-flour (besan), semolina (rava), dalda-ghee, sweet-oil, condiments and spices, vegetables, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, chillis, tea-leaves and tea-dust, sugar, milk and a number of other articles. The extent of consumption of these articles increases with the growth in the size of establishment and the volume of business. The smallest type of a rural hotel in the district is said to consume accessories worth a thousand rupees or so per annum, whilst the expenditure of a big establishment on the same item for a similar period can be said to come up to as many as 25 to 30 times as much.
Tools and Equipment.
As observed earlier, two or three benches constitute the furniture of a tea-shop in rural areas and chairs and tables in urban areas. In some shops, well established in business, decorating mirrors are hung on the walls and a radio-set is installed near the counter. But in most cases, the furniture used is of a very simple type and lacks proper maintenance. Utensils and other equipment too are hardly enough to meet the demand. In small shops, utensils of german silver or aluminium are in common use. The amount locked up in tools and equipment varies from a few hundred rupees in small hotels to often more than five thousand rupees in big shops.
The investment in tea-shops is usually of two types: (a) Fixed
and (b) working. Fixed investment is made for buying tools and other equipment. In the latter case, it is for buying
accessories and for meeting expenditure of a recurring nature
with the exception of wages. The amount locked up as fixed
capital depends on the size of the shops and the quality as well
as quantity of the equipment. Small ones possess equipment just necessary for keeping them going, and hence their fixed investment is limited. The statistics about the investment in a tew establishments are as under: -
Fixed and working capital of Hotels and Restaurants.
No. of the Units Surveyed
Size of the Units
Fixed (in Rs.)
Working (in Rs.)
One or sometimes two cooks are employed in such establishments. The other employees arc attendants or waiters to serve customers. Some boys are also employed to clean tables, wash utensils, crockery, floors, etc. The number of employees in each category varies with the size of the establishment. The cook's job is skilled and he is paid more. On an average a cook in a medium-sized hotel in an urban area gets about Rs. 50 per month. Other workers get about Rs. 15 to Rs. 20. Besides the emoluments, the workers are given snacks and tea twice a day. The employees in such establishments live a very hard life. There is no guarantee of a continuous employment. They have perforce to remain busy from morning till late at night. But, the return that they get for their labour is very poor.
The turnover of such establishments depends on many factors like locality, the type of clientele, their eating habits, etc. A hotel situated near a bazar at a business centre or near a cinema house or any office can afford to serve various types of dishes, because it finds sufficient demand for them. But in case of establishments situated in a small village or by the roadside, the conditions are not so encouraging. Secondly, in urban areas it has been observed that many persons take their food in restaurants only. This gives assured demand to some of them. The turnover also depends upon the managements' capacity to attract more and better clientele.
Income and Expenditure.
The income of these shops is in proportion to their turnover.
Thus at the time of festivals or local fairs, business becomes
brisk, but during the rainy season, it turns dull and yields
insufficient returns. The net income of a small hotel ranges
from Rs. 50 to about Rs. 100 while that of a big establishment
varies from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 per month. Generally, the
margin of profit works out to about 35 to 40 per cent according
to the season.
Accessories, wages and rent constitute the important items of expenditure. Of these, accessories alone account for half the expenditure. The establishment charges are very high in urban areas as compared to those in the rural ones because most of them are housed in rented premises. Wages are comparatively high. Some amount has also to be spent on making the establishment more attractive. The occupation in the district is not a hereditary one. It gradually developed during the last thirty years or so, and spread throughout the district. Almost all the restaurants are owned by the individual managers and it was their principal occupation. There is still a wide scope for improvement in regard to investment, services, labour condition, etc. Indebtedness was very rarely found. In prominent cities like Amravati, Badnera, etc., and in big towns like Morshi, Warud, Achalpur, etc., the restaurant owners have their associations.