Like hotels and restaurants, lodging and boarding houses are indispensable in the present conditions of socio-economic life. Lodging and boarding houses as an occupation were found to thrive at towns and centres of wholesale trade and industry such as Ahmadnagar, Shrirampur, Kopargaon and Rahuri. The pilgrim traffic at Shirdi was mainly responsible for the growth of lodging and boarding houses at this place of pilgrimage.

Boarding houses without lodging facilities are more in number than those with lodging facilities.

The 1961 Census combined lodging and boarding facilities with hotels and restaurants. Hence the statistics of employment in lodging and boarding houses were included in those of hotels and restaurants.

The sample survey disclosed that most of the boarding houses served vegetarian food, while those serving non-vegetarian food were few in number. The common accessories required by boarding houses included food-grains, wheat and gram flour, pulses, vegetables, condiments and spices, groundnut, sesamum and edible oils in a vegetarian boarding and fish, mutton and eggs in a non-vegetarian one. The value of raw materials utilised varied from Rs. 50 to Rs. 150 per day in case of a medium-sized boarding house, while the consumption of raw materials of a big unit was found to be above Rs. 150 per day. The average amount spent on these articles in case of a big unit was estimated at Rs. 250 per day.

A proprietor of a boarding house has to invest a considerable amount in the business. The fixed capital of a big unit amounted to Rs. 20,000, while that of a medium unit amounted to Rs. 7,000.

A big unit was found to employ about a dozen persons, while a small unit employed three to five salaried workers. The amount of wages differed according to their services. Generally, a waiter was paid Rs. 50 to Rs. 60 per month while a servant employed for cleaning and washing was paid less than Rs. 50 per month. However, a cook was paid between Rs. 100 and Rs. 150 per month as his job required strenuous work and skill. Most of the employees were provided with morning and evening meals.

Almost all lodging and boarding houses were found to be housed in rented premises. The rent paid by the proprietor varied from Rs. 80 to Rs. 200 per month.

The average earning of a big unit amounted to Rs. 1,100 per month and that of a small unit to Rs. 400 per month.