Room and board

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This article is about the general concept. For other uses, see Room and board (disambiguation).

Room and board describes a situation where, in exchange for money, labor or other considerations, a person is provided with a place to live as well as meals on a comprehensive basis. In some countries this is sometimes translated to literally "room and food".

"Board" refers to the table on which food is served. Historically, "in a modest house, the table, or 'board', might have been provided with stools for guests but just the one chair with arms, which was reserved for the household's head. The original 'chairman of the board' was literally so seated on a chair while everyone else was on a stool..."[1][page needed]

It also occurs in hotel-style accommodation for short stays.

With a room and board arrangement, the renter has a private bedroom and shares the rest of the house with the person renting out the room. This is different from renting where the renter has private living areas, including a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen

Two commonly encountered boards are:

  • Half Board, where the host provides only a breakfast and dinner meals.
  • Full Board, where the host provides all three daily meals.

Another option is:

See also[edit]

  • Bistro, a type of informal French restaurant that may have started in the basement of apartment buildings
  • Boarding house
  • Sideboard, an article of furniture from which food is served in a dining room


  1. ^ Worsley, Lucy. If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home.