the role of butler has changed dramatically over the years.
a ‘modern’ butler encompasses the traditional household duties such as table and drinks service, wardrobe management and more, but also offering more adaptable skills which may extend to; personal assistant duties, cooking and events organising.
Clients today, look for multi-skilled and proactive individuals to step into the shoes of butler of the household.
A head butler will be required to organise and delegate duties to a team of butlers and may also be required to take on responsibility for other household staff; carrying out security, driving and overall hospitality duties.
Butler positions can often be similar to that of a household manager however, it is worth noting that a household manager will also generally take responsibility for overseeing the smooth running and overall upkeep, and maintenance, of large properties and private residences. Responsibilities here may include supervising staff, ensuring that high standards are maintained, administration and managing of budgets, negotiating with – and managing – third party suppliers, event planning, and sourcing property.
The skills of a butler will vary widely depending on the clients’ needs, but the typical responsibilities and duties of the role are:
Ensuring a smooth drinks and table service for principals and their guests
Liaising with chefs and the kitchen on service and menus
Organising of social and family events
Caring for the household’s guests and visitors
Serving of wines and other drinks (often butlers will be qualified sommeliers or mixologists!)
Serving of refreshments and meals
Caring for silver, china, antiques and other specialist items
Taking on duties of a valet, chef, housekeeper, nanny, pet minder, gardener, or chauffeur if required
A butler in a private household is a very rewarding and varied job. This role is so important to the smoothest running of a large private home and all events which happen within them.
To become a butler you can certainly start in a junior private household service position, or within a fine hotel and work your way up. Or you can enrol onto many butler courses, for formal fine dining and silver service training.