A Butlers’ responsibilities can encompass more than one household. If his duties include the supervision of other domestic staff in one or more households he is often referred to as a House Manager or Major Domo. In this case his remit would include hiring and organizing other household staff ( a housekeeper, cooks and maids) as well as outside contractors and personnel (gardeners, chauffeurs and maintenance). Alternatively, he may be the sole employee in a smaller household in which case he might be expected to carry out light cooking duties and act as a Valet and Personal Assistant.
Valeting refers to the care of his client’s wardrobe. This can often be a job in itself and, in larger households, is carried out by the Assistant Butler or Under Butler who in turn is under the jurisdiction of the Head Butler. An Under Butler is also known as a Footman but this term is used less and less nowadays, other than in Royal palaces.
Often the Butler assumes the role of a Personal or Household Secretary and, as well as keeping the family agenda, he would be expected to carry out personal shopping for his employer, handle the mail and be in charge of the household accounts. In these roles the title of House Administrator would be apt.
Generally a Butler would not be expected to perform the more menial domestic tasks or look after children.
So, in essence, the Butler is very much a Jack of all Trades and somehow master of them all. Yet he must always be adaptable and flexible, ready to take on new responsibilities as and when his employer sees fit. He is the byword for common sense, patience and expertise. The greater his duties and responsibilities (combined with his experience) is reflected in his salary package.
With the resurgence of Butler Service being offered in hotels and spas around the world the Hotel Butler is now in high demand and this can often be an easier way for many to break into the field and gain experience. The difference being that Hotel Butlers have a high and regular turnover of clients.
The Houseman has more in common with the Housekeeper. The accent is on the cleanliness and day to day running of the household with less emphasis on the more formal duties of a Butler.
However care of the clients clothes i.e. valeting is often required as can be knowledge of swimming pool maintenance, general gardening duties and driving. Rudimentary cooking skills are sometimes called for.
The Estate Manager
While the supervision of ground and maintenance staff can sometimes fall under the remit of a Head Butler it is more common for an Estate Manager to be employed, often working in tandem with the Butler.
Responsible for all aspects of the grounds of the property or properties. This could include supervising a team of gardeners and various building contractors and organising shooting parties, forestry and anything and everything to do with the property.
Many Estate Managers have a degree in Estate or Farming management.
The Domestic Couple
Becoming more and more popular these days many employers prefer to employ a couple to run their homes.
The sharing of duties can vary but a common mix would be for one partner to act as Cook, Housekeeper and the day to day running of the house with the other partner acting as Gardener, Maintenance person and Driver with possibly some serving duties in the evening or when the client is entertaining.
Obviously a husband/wife team of a professional Butler and a professional Chef can expect much higher remuneration than a husband and wife team offering the basic caretaking duties.
As mentioned above the Housekeeper’s responsibilities generally run to cleaning duties but can often be combined with family cooking, some child care and running household errands and care of clothing.
Not to be confused with a Mothers Help, which focuses on working in tandem with the lady of the house and sharing various duties with her, the Housekeeper effectively takes on all the burdens of a household so freeing up the client to pursue their own career or other interests
A Chef will have received formal training, to various levels, whereas a Cook, no matter how proficient will not. So the title ‘chef’ actually means something to an employer. An Executuve Chef refers to someone who runs a kitchen brigade of less experience chefs and/or cooks. A Sous Chef is the assistant to the Head Chef and a head Chef in waiting.
A Chef can pepare daily meals for the clients and their guests on a small scale to organizing and preparing large full-scale banquets. Food sourcing and purchase would normally fall to him as could preparation of staff meals. A job in itself for larger households.
Chefs who specialize in particular forms of cooking – regional for example – are sought after but the chef with an international repertoire is the most in demand.
The Personal Assistant
A Personal Assistant or Private Secretary is responsible for the day to day running of a busy client’s life. Keeping his diary, arranging and monitoring his appointments, correspondence and more. Often travelling with the employer but sometimes office based the Personal Assistant requires more than good secretarial skills. Diplomacy and tact are essential.
Many of the job descriptions above can merge into others. Can a Butler act as a personal chef or personal secretary too? Yes they can but wiil you have enough hours in the day? Improve your computer skills, cooking skills, security knowledge and so on and improve not only your prospects of employment but also the sort of salary package you will be able to command
More info about Bespoke Bureau and the British Butler Academy:
Based in the prestigious heart of London (Guildhall in the city) for the past 11 years and now a franchise, we pride ourselves to be considered “The World‘s and The UK’s Best Household Staffing Agency” amongst staff agencies
Bespoke Bureau specialises in the recruitment of household staff internationally including House/Estate Managers, Butlers, Housekeepers, Chefs, Nannies, Gardeners etc for palaces, mansions, estates, prestigious houses and yachts all over the world. We provide high calibre staff – professional, multi-functional, discreet and flexible.
Over the years we have built a strong relationship with domestic staff candidates and private NHW and other clients alike which has led to new opportunities that enable us to provide a more comprehensive service with our clients’ needs in mind.
For assistance and advice on all the services we offer, please contact us and we will be delighted to help you.
We are a leading domestic staff agency in London due to our dedication to providing our clients with dependable, thorough and professional household staff. We have built up an enviable reputation across London and can provide tailored household staff services to suit our clients’ private household staff requirements.
We only hire experienced domestic staff who can deliver the high standards required from our private employers. Our household staff agency will undertake a rigorous domestic staff recruitment process, as we carefully check their household employment history and references, as well as interviewing each candidate at great length to ensure they have the right professional attitude and personality to work in the domestic staff service in the UK and overseas.
All our domestic staff on our domestic agency’s database understand the importance of hard work and discretion, and are 100% committed to delivering an outstanding household work service on a daily basis.
As a leading household staff agency, we will work alongside you to ensure that all your needs are met. We can provide an array of domestic staff to suit your household, including:
- House Managers or Estate Managers
- Butlers for private homes or hotels
- Housekeepers, Head Housekeepers or Junior Housekeepers
- Gardeners and Handymen
- Nannies, tutors, au-pairs and Mother’s Helps
- Personal Assistants
- Chauffeurs and Private Drivers
- Private Chefs and Cooks
- Laundry Maids and ladies maids
- And more domestic staff
More info on: http://www.bespokebureau.com/
Many of our domestic staff employees can combine a number of the domestic staff roles upon request, but this will depend on the hours of employment required. As well as being a leading domestic agency in London, we can also provide domestic staff services across the UK and abroad/overseas.
For more information on our household staff agency and candidates, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sara Vestin Rahmani
Bespoke Bureau, Peek-a-boo and Cupcakes
Blackwell House | Guildhall Yard
Bank | London | EC2V 5AE
Bespoke: +44 (0) 2031670925
Peek-a-boo: +44 (0) 2031670926
Bespoke and Peekaboo in recent News:
Our new Exciting Yacht academy (Reuters News release film)
Russias main news station visits the residential Butler school
The Bespoke Bureau Butler school Reuters visit (6 mins news)
The Guardian does 5 pages on The Yacht Academy
The world news org reports on Bespoke Butlers
The Global Post interviews Sara Vestin on Butlers
Washington DC and Chinese CCTV’s Richard Bestik visits Peek-a-boo
Great British post on Butlers in China with Bespoke
Tokyo TV News on Bespoke Bureau
Channel 4’s Brunch gets a visit from our Head Butler
CBS This morning reports on Bespoke Bureau
Paris Match Magazine speaks to Peek-a-boo
Swedish Dagens industri and PS tells about our success
Hotelier Middle East reports on Bespoke Bureau
The times report on the Modern Butler
Al Arabia News on our Nannies and Butlers
Arabian Business News reports on our Mid East Demand
Australia’s courier mail on Bespoke Bureau
The Daily Telegraph in Australia on Sara Vestin and Bespoke
News.com in Australia reports on London’s Finest academy
Adelaide Now reports on Butler Trends
Australian News talks to The bespoke Bureau
Daily Mail reports on Bespoke Bureau
Metro London on Bespoke Bureau
Reuters TV pays a visit to our London Academy
New York based Alex Burton talks to Sara
Russian TVC news channel reports on the Butler School
CCTV in China visits the school
Spanish Elmundo reports on Bespoke
The Economist Oct 2012
Sky news Oct 2012
Independent Oct 2012
Bloomberg TV Jan 2012
BBC Breakfast Mar 2012
Butler trends in China
China’s demand from Bespoke Bureau
British Butlers on the rise
Sweden reports on their Native Sara and Bespoke
Women’s everything interviews Sara on her businesses
The Telegraph-Chinese Nannies in the rise
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