The hotel industry has been one of the most
important industries in the city. In 1926, there were 126 tea shops
and 21 hotels and a total of 178 persons were employed in them.
Round about 1947, there were 188 restaurants and 53 boarding and
lodging houses in the city. The total number of restaurants,
khanavalis and residential hotels at the time of survey was
300 employing 1,169 persons out of whom 260 including 35 females and
118 children were members of owners' families and others paid
servants. Restaurants and tea shops were located in almost all the
wards, residential hotels mostly in C ward and khanavalis in
C and E wards.
There were 248 tea shops and restaurants at the time
of survey. They employed 829 persons out of whom 630 were paid
employees and the remaining members of owners' families. Out of 248
shops, 98 were located in C ward, 48 in E ward, 40 in A ward, 39 in
D ward and 23 in B ward. Only six establishments of different sizes
were surveyed in the sample. The shops in the sample were started
between 1942 and 1952. Catering of tea and other eatables was the
principal occupation in these shops. Five shops were situated in
rented premises and one in the owned premise of the proprietor.
The initial capital required for starting the
establishment was provided by the owners from their own capital. The
capital investment in the six units varied from Rs. 800 to Rs.
10,000. The owner of the biggest unit had invested Rs. 10,000 in the
establishment, the owner of medium sized unit about Rs. 3,000 and
the capital investment in the smallest unit was about Rs. 800.
The equipment required for tea shops was furniture
like chairs, tables, cupboards etc., and few utensils for cooking,
crockery, and mirrors for decoration. Two establishments, small and
big sized, had equipment worth Rs. 400 and Rs. 1,200 respectively.
Durability of each piece of furniture was said to be between five
years and 10 years. A few pieces of crockery were replaced every
month. Annual expenditure for repairing the equipment of each
establishment varied from Rs. 15 to Rs. 100.
The total employment in all the above six units was
58 out of whom 11 persons including one child, were members of
employers' families. The remaining 47 persons were paid employees
including eight children. These employees were paid monthly wages
and provided with daily food. One establishment was also giving them
clothes. The other one was only paying wages and not serving daily
food. Five units in the sample paid them wages along with food.
Wages of a waiter in each of the five units varied from Rs. 20 to
Rs. 40. Two establishments employed cooks, who were paid Rs. 50
Other items of expenditure were rent of the
premises, water and electricity charges, municipal licence fee and
advertisement. Rent of the premises of the smallest establishment
was Rs. 18 and in the case of the remaining four it varied from Rs.
60 to Rs. 125 per month. The total expenditure on all other items
excluding rent, advertisement and wages of three establishments in
the sample was between Rs. 40 and Rs. 45 per month and of remaining
two Rs. 10 and Rs. 110 respectively. Only one establishment was
spending Rs. 180 per year on advertisement. This item of expenditure
on advertisement was not included in the items of expenditure quoted
Raw materials required were wheat flour, gram flour,
edible and hydrogenated oil, tea, sugar, milk and vegetables like
onions, potatoes. All these items were purchased from local market.
Two establishments consumed raw materials worth Rs. 140 and 185, the
other two Rs. 256 and Rs. 380 and the remaining two Rs. 437 and Rs.
1,320 per month.
Main items served to customers were bhaji,
wada, chiwada, dosa, and a few sweet dishes
like ladoo, shira, etc. A plate of bhaji or
chiwada or wada or a cup of tea was sold at an anna
each. Sweet dishes like shira, ladoo, etc. were sold at annas
two each. A plate of dosa was sold at annas 2. Daily sales of these
six establishments were between Rs. 10 to Rs. 70.
The business in these establishments was more or
less steady throughout the year. Daily sales depended upon the
quality of the dishes served and cleanliness maintained in the
premises. The margin of profit in one of the six establishments was
fairly big, while in the other five it was low.