21 Jul DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A MODERN BUTLER
In the popular imagination, the word “butler” tends to bring to mind a respectable middle-aged man in a tailcoat holding a silver platter. Today, this enduring association might lead us to wonder what relevance a butler has in modern society – and perhaps even to suspect that the age of the butler is long dead.
But according to the International Guild of Professional Butlers, the number of them employed around the world is increasing all the time. The question is, what exactly does a modern-day butler do?
The position of a Butler has evolved over time, adapting with changing times and society. Many families worldwide are yielding the benefits of having that all-important helping hand organise and arrange the smooth running of their households.
A butler is like a button that holds the family together, they are often given titles such as majordomo, house manager, staff manager, chief of staff and others. His many duties and responsibilities can take the weight off a busy family particularly when that family has many tasks at hand and perhaps when both adults work long hours.
EVERYDAY TASKS IN RESIDENTIAL SETTINGS
Regardless of how the role of the butler has changed over time, the position is dedicated to discreet and competent service. Modern butler duties may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, maintaining the wardrobe for the principals and more.
One of the most important responsibilities is hosting. A butler should answer calls to the household phone, greet guests at the door, assist in the planning of events and dinner parties, oversee table settings, and serve drinks and food. They will also (perhaps most importantly) manage the wine cellar.
Additionally, a butler may have responsibility over other staff. This could extend to training new staff members, organising the payroll and the staff schedule, and even hiring and firing.
A professional butler may also be required to do personal valet services for the head of the household. Chauffeuring could be involved, as could housekeeping, cleaning and maintenance. Budgeting, administrative and security issues may be placed in their hands, along with the care of artworks, silverware and antiques. He can even be expected to stay abreast of the latest software and security systems.
He checks that the kitchens and laundries are all being run well. Instead of polishing silver or greeting guests as commonly known to be the general tasks, the butler may oversee installation of a new heating system.
Responsibilities can also include maintaining sleeping quarters, inventory personal items and accessories, grooming, pack/unpack for travel, and light housekeeping.
The butler is generally expected to handle all the unpredictable needs of the household. He pays the household bills, books medical appointments and helps arrange social family events. They deal with vendors and pre-empt maintenance issues to ensure the smooth running of the household.
Beyond that, a butler’s duties will be decided at their employer’s discretion. Perhaps the most important thing to note about modern-day butlers is that everything from their duties to their dress code can be tailored, depending upon the specific needs of your household and family. Which, in many ways, makes them the ideal member of staff to invite into your home.
In many households, the role of butler and house manager may be combined or overlapped, depending on a home’s particular needs. Many smaller estates employ only a butler to oversee the management of the home and serve the principal/s. He or she may be the only staff in a small home serving an individual or couple. In larger homes, the butler usually serves as a house manager or right below the house manager.
According to the International Guild of Professional Butlers, the below tasks go hand-in-hand with being a butler-
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Care of fine china, silver, crystal
- Care and inventory of artwork and antiques
- Maintenance of automobiles
- Security of their employer and residence
- Coordination and scheduling of service contractors
- Formal table service and service of drinks
- Valeting, including clothing and shoe care
- Care of the wine cellar
- Organisation of shoots and care of guns
- Flower arranging and table decorations
- Meeting and greeting of guests
The butler role can be live-in or live-out and room and board can be considered part of the salary package.
BUTLER QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
It’s best to think of a butler as a management position, having many of the same skills a manager in any field requires. These may include excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills, organisational and management skills, an ability to multitask, in addition to some that are unique to the role of butler, such as discretion, meticulous attention to detail, and food and wine pairings.
A butler will be well versed in etiquette and serving and have a thorough understanding of formal home care. In many cases, he or she may speak several languages.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A BUTLER?
Someone who is smart and well presented. Someone who wants to do their best for their principal, who is also flexible and adaptable.
WHAT DO BUTLERS WEAR?
Depending on the household preferences, attire can range from casual shirts and trousers to a formal butler’s uniform.
HIRING A BUTLER FOR YOUR HOME
Your butler will quickly become essential to the smooth running of your home. They have intimate knowledge of all structures, staff and principals and dedicate their energies to operating efficiently and without difficulties. This means that the process of hiring the right household butler for your family and home should be approached with care and patience.
Understanding the needs of your home and lifestyle will be critical to finding the right butler. As every home and family is unique it is important that your butler not only be experienced but a fit in expectations and demeanor. When working with Riveter Consulting Group to hire a butler, the first step will be to discuss your needs and expectations so that you are only presented with experienced, professional butlers that match your criteria.
Riveter Consulting Group recruits highly qualified butlers and places them in VIP and HNW households all over the United States. We have been providing the best domestic services for over the past 10 years and successfully recruiting the best candidates for families across the United States. We have a roster of trained butlers, many of whom are valets, chefs and house managers.
Our expert team sources qualified candidates and conducts a rigorous screening and interviewing process. There will be an initial phone call with the candidates to determine their work experience and background to ensure their motive in applying for the job. Then the selected most qualified candidates will undergo a face to face interview with the specialists to assess their skills, qualification, past work experience.
Reference screening and background checks are also handled by our team to ensure only the highest-quality candidates meet with our families. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented household and a butler who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.
To discuss your specific requirements, or to apply for a butler position, please contact Riveter Consulting Group on +1 855-444-2515 or register online.
SOURCES TO THE BLOG –