How to use a butler in your home


If you’re considering hiring a butler, or if you’ve recently taken a butler into your employ, you may now be wondering how to use a butler in your home? 

The changing nature of butlers

Butlers stereotypically are considered the privy of the ultra-rich. But in today’s modern society you don’t have to be hugely wealthy to take advantage of the many benefits that having a butler in your home entails. 

When you think of a butler, most people think of Jeeves, the infamous P. G. Wodehouse character – a valet, a gentleman’s gentleman who serves at the behest of the head of a household. 

Yes, it was once an incredibly formal position requiring a well turned out, tailcoat wearing chap who knew his way around a silver platter. And of course, being well turned out and knowing silver service are still essential requirements for butlers today, however, their role has largely evolved to meet the needs of the modern family. 

Now a butler is more akin to a house manager, someone who is capable of managing a family’s day to day needs and undertaking hands-on maintenance tasks when required. 

In fact, the use of a butler in your home is purely down to personal preference. And you don’t even need to call them a butler if you don’t want to – many butlers today actually prefer to use a more transferable title such as household manager, or estate manager. 

The role of a butler

Once upon a time a butler was the preserve of the upper classes, someone who polished the silver, oversaw the presentation of dinner and greeted guests on arrival at your home. How times have changed… 

While a housekeeper is expected to deal with the routine, day to day tasks of running your house, a butler is expected to be able to roll with the punches and tackle the less than routine tasks. 

These might include unexpected incidents and last-minute changes to plans, and a well-versed butler will take them all in their stride, ensuring there is little to no inconvenience or disruption to your family’s life. 

How to use a butler in your home

If you’re thinking about employing a butler to help you run your home, the benefits of having a second pair of experienced hands can be invaluable, especially if your home life is complex or chaotic. 

A butler can bring a much needed calming influence to a busy family, ensuring that nothing at home is forgotten or overlooked, freeing you up to focus your attention where it is needed elsewhere. 

So if you need to spend more time at work, with your children and your family, on your hobbies or leisure activities, hiring a butler into your home could be the best decision you make. 

Like most personal positions, the way in which you use a butler in your home will vary according to what your family needs are, and the size of your property. 

Routine butler tasks

Running the household might include:

  • Paying the household bills
  • Overseeing other household staff
  • Ensuring the kitchen remains stocked (in tandem with the chef)  and ensuring the wine cellar is kept topped up
  • Booking appointments for the family, including medical appointments
  • Managing family travel arrangements
  • Managing the family’s wardrobes, including clothing inventories
  • Chiefly responsible for other staff in the household including their hiring, training and payroll, sometimes even their termination of contract 
  • Responsible for inventory of collectables and valuables such as artwork, silver and antiques

Overseeing social events and hosting might include:

  • Arranging social events for the family, both internationally and domestically
  • Answering the house phone
  • Answering the door and greeting guests
  • Assisting in planning family events, social gatherings and dinner parties
  • Serving food and drinks
  • Overseeing silver service
  • Managing the wine cellar

Additional tasks might include:

  • Overseeing the installation of your home’s security system
  • Managing your home’s security system 
  • Maintaining smart home technology and ensuring the system is up to date at all times
  • Providing personal valet services to family members
  • Chauffeuring
  • Housekeeping (if there is no housekeeper), cleaning (if required) and property maintenance (when necessary)

Essentially, how you use a butler in your home is down to your personal needs and the needs of your family. 

Your butler can be as hands-on or hands-off as you require, typically working up to 60 hours a week with one day off a week, and 4 weeks annual leave a year. Your butler can live in or live out, as you wish, and their position can be formal or informal – the choice really is yours. 

Hiring a butler through Blues Agency

Blues Agency recruits highly qualified and experienced butlers and places them in temporary or permanent positions in homes around the world. Blues Agency is a small yet well-established agency who provide a personal service in a specialist market. 

With over 40 years experience placing private household staff in VIP and HNW households, we know what our clients need and pride ourselves on delivering quality time and again.

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