The Different Types of Butlers and How They Are Unique

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Published on February 15, 2021

You have most likely heard of a butler, but did you know that there are many different types of butlers? What is the difference between these unique types of a butler? The role of a butler has evolved a lot over the years and is very different from the traditional style of butler seen in TV and films.

This is why it’s pivotal that when hiring a butler you know all of the possible options. This will help you find the right fit for your family.

The Different Types of Butlers

Let’s have a look at the different types of butlers, and following from that we can look further at how they are unique.

Traditional Butler

When a person first thinks of a butler this is the butler type that will come to mind. The old fashioned butler that people would have seen in period dramas on tv and films like Downton Abbey. These butlers do still exist, however, are becoming increasingly rarer. This what we call a ‘traditional butler’.

Usually, Traditional Butlers would be trained at a service or butler school. The role will revolve mostly around service. At formal events and parties, they will be in charge of service, day-to-day service of food and beverages. Occasionally they could be tasked with running errands for the house and shopping. This butler will possess excellent knowledge of etiquette, silver service and reception skills. Therefore they will be the first person visitors will be greeted by when entering the house.

This butler will be focused on understanding the needs of the Principal before providing service accordingly. A traditional butler will wear a butler suit and look formal on duty. They are also known for their ‘invisible presence’, so they will be happy in the background.

Modern Butler

The ‘Modern Butlermight be called different things depending on where you look. People may have a ‘House Manager’, rather than calling it a butler. This is a role that has evolved from the modern butler. This type of butler could come from many different backgrounds and will possess a wide range of skills. A modern butler will be in charge of running the household day-to-day. They are often in charge of managing other staff members, training them and organising the payroll for the staff.

The major difference between a modern butler to a more traditional butler is that they might have a more managerial role. These management tasks will be expected on top of service orientated tasks. Chauffeuring could also be one of the duties they can assist with. They would be expected to dress formally but wouldn’t have to wear the traditional butler suit.

Female Butler

A female butler role revolves around being the confidant or companion for a female Principal. This type of butler is normally more versatile and can cover many areas a traditional or male butler may not be able to cover.

They can accompany Madame whilst travelling or shopping. In cases, the butler will be asked to introduce the Principal to the social scene in new countries and places. A female butler would normally have a great knowledge of fashion, so they will be in charge of sorting out attires for the Principal. They would normally be tasked with ensuring that the family have the latest designer goods.

On top of these tasks, a female butler could be asked to help with childcare if the Principal requires it. So helping children with homework, bathing them or feeding are just a few of the possible tasks they could be given. Often they have a history in childcare so if this is required of them it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Another area of tasks a female butler could help with is housekeeping. They will possess an eye for detail and will be able to help keep the house in fantastic condition. In some cases the butler may be in charge of the housekeeping staff, ensuring that everyone is on task and the house is well looked after.

Traditional English Butler

This is a butler who will speak the Queen’s English, will be well educated in English culture, habits and history. This is a great option for foreign families who perhaps want to add a British touch to their household. An English butler can act as an educator of British etiquette and style. Some families could ask the butler to help their children perfect their English or get the best British education possible.

Some British families who live abroad may want to hire a ‘traditional English butler’ to get that ‘home from home’ feel. This butler will add a British touch to any household no matter where the family lives. They are still deemed as a traditional butler in terms of demeanour and tasks.

Hotel Butler

A hotel butler will normally have previous experience in the service industry in a hotel and/or a restaurant. They will have a vast knowledge of food, wine and spirits so they can offer a personalised catered-for experience for the guests. The butler will be highly trained in silver service, presentation and reception. 

Di you now have a better understanding of the different types of butlers and how they are unique? If you are interested in hiring a butler Polo & Tweed can help! We have the best selection of the highest-end Butlers on our books, with candidates all over the world. Our highly experienced consultants can help you find the perfect candidate. If you would like to find out more, do contact us here now and we look forward to speaking to you!

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