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The role of butler has changed dramatically over the years, but in more traditional households duties such as formal table service, serving drinks, valeting and care of the wine cellar, are still essential.
The role of a ‘modern’ butler encompasses these duties and many more. Clients now look for multi-skilled, proactive individuals. The butler may be required to act as chauffeur, personal assistant, cook and events organiser. For a butler based in the country, they may be expected to have knowledge of shoots, care of guns and the ability to organise a shooting weekend and manage staff.
A head butler may be required to take on responsibility for other household staff and carry out security, driving and hospitality duties.
The role of a household manager is varied and differs a little from the butler role. Generally they will take responsibility for overseeing the smooth running, general upkeep and maintenance of large properties and private residences. Responsibilities 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, knowledge and experience of a butler and house manager will vary widely depending on their individual experience and the size of the properties they have previously been responsible for. Many are experienced at managing multiple residences and working internationally. House managers often come from a commercial or hotel management background.
Typical responsibilities and duties
The butler is a more traditional figure than the household manager, and is knowledgeable in etiquette and protocol. As the position involves a significant level of hands-on service to the owners and their guests, the schedule and hours worked will vary considerably, requiring a large degree of flexibility. Occasionally, such positions are live-in, where security and/or 24/7 on-call services are appropriate.
Qualifications and skills
For further advice and information or to discuss your requirements, please call Laura Rock or Alex Sanbsury on 020 7471 6000 or local rate number 0844 409 7321.
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