Updated: Jul 9
From being the primary point of contact for a private household staff to being the primary care provider for a dignified employer, butlers are a very varied and unique role, which often is the source of mystery and ambivalence.
Here are some of the most common questions that are asked about a quite fascinating career.
What Are A Butler’s Primary Responsibilities?
This is the most asked question by both prospective butlers and by households themselves, as amongst household staff the butler can have the most varied responsibilities.
The short answer is that this varies by household, but if they are the sole member of staff, a butler can:
• Meet and greet visitors to the home.
• Take care of art, antiques and silverware.
• Manage the wine cellar, and organise deliveries of produce.
• Valet services.
• Table and drinks services, including flower arranging.
• Cleaning and cooking as required.
In larger households, a butler’s role is more about managing these duties and ensuring they are completed by other household staff to a high standard.
Do Butlers Always Wear Suits?
Many questions about how a butler should dress or conduct themselves are answered relative to the wants of the household themselves.
The traditional British Butler style however is a suit with a white shirt, a suit-vest and a black or grey tie in a Windsor knot.
The key reason why butlers are often depicted wearing formal suits, white gloves and bow ties is that looking presentable and focusing on details is key.
What Can A Butler Not Do Without?
Besides looking presentable, a butler will almost always have three accessories on their person at all times. They carry a moleskin notebook (or another stylish and discreet way to take notes), a good pen and a wristwatch, all of which are vital tools of a butler.