Referred to as the “gentleman’s gentleman,” the Butler is noted for his gracious and dignified manner, which are essential characteristics for the role he plays, as he is the first point of contact between the household and the outside world—answering the doorbell; receiving guests at the door; and answering the telephone. In some households where there is no House Manager, the Butler may be responsible for the hiring, training, supervising and scheduling of other staff, such as the housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks/chefs or nannies, etc., as well as liaising with outside vendors and contractors. He may also be required to handle household budgets.
A Butler is experienced in serving techniques and table setting; is well versed in high social etiquette and formal service; and is knowledgeable of wines and liquor, overseeing the wine cellar and liquor inventory. He supervises the family’s packing and travel preparations and liaises with other staff as needed. He handles the care and inventory of household items, such as silverware, dinnerware, crystal and other fine items; sets the table for meals; and does the table service. Some households also require the Butler to be computer savvy.
A well-trained Butler is definitely an asset to have. Not only does he offer a lot of experience and service, but his presence gives an added aura of sophistication to the household.