A butler has traditionally been defined as the chief manservant of the domestic staff. Today a male or female butler is the principal member of the team that provides service in a traditionally staffed house. The refined stature that a mature, experienced and above all competent butler can deliver to a household is both one of flawless organisation and prestigious presentation. Modern day butlers are considered to be one of the most versatile domestic employees, as the role has evolved into a diverse range of quality services. The main role is a balance of management and liaison of services. Butlers are often employed with differing titled descriptions and standards depending on the needs of the individual employer. Frequently a butler will assume a combination of roles, varying from head waiter, chef, valet, chauffeur to personal assistant, usually complimenting each role with ease and distinction. Consistent to all butler roles however, are the essential characteristics of refined discretion, dignity, perfection and excellence in service and standards.

1st Agency and Marshall Harber have candidates of a very high calibre who have either a great wealth of work experience or formal education through butler schools for distinguished excellence. Please visit our links page to find more information on butler Schools and other institutions where one can gain skills to further their career in private service. Sourcing these butler school trained butlers provides excellent candidates and subsequently provides skilled butlers for some very prestigious employers.

The butler of a household may very well be the most senior of staff supervising housemen, under butlers, and also all of the remaining household employees. A butler is usually accountable to the house manager if the household requires such a role, otherwise a good butler is more than capable of graciously performing all necessary roles of leadership and responsibility.

A good butler will have knowledge of or possess the following skills

  • Hiring and dismissing of domestic staff
  • Supervising all domestic staff
  • Keeping employee records
  • Know where to hire all additional domestic staff members and knowledge of all of their duties
  • Keeping household accounts
  • Stock control
  • Valuations
  • Inventories
  • Liaising with contractors, suppliers and services
  • Should have good knowledge of general housekeeping practices for guiding and training other staff. These should include
Care of antiques Books Curtains Pet care
Ceramics Silver Food hygiene Food preparation
Metalwork Art work Flowers Table setting
Rugs Linens Houseplants  
  • Menu Planning
  • Formal dining etiquettes
  • Stocking bar, wine cellar
  • Knowledge of cigars
  • Booking, flights, hotels, theatre tickets
  • Excellent phone manner
  • Packing and unpacking suitcases
  • Care of clothes
  • Purchasing clothes

Above all a butler should have unwavering professionalism and enduring discretion.