Butler & Majordomo Recruitment and Placement Agency
What is the role of a Butler or Majordomo ?
A butler holds one of the key positions within any private household. They are responsible both for the upkeep of the house, and for staff performance and well-being.
This is a very demanding, but very rewarding position. A butler is always at the disposal of his or her employer for a range of important duties and should be prepared to take on new ones when requested.
The butler is the sole spokesperson for his employer in terms of the general management of the estate.
He or she must have extensive knowledge of the property and how it operates, including its personnel, as it is they who are responsible for keeping it all running smoothly.
In cases of emergency or absence of house staff, the butler is expected to cover for any member of the household. He or she enjoys an unparalelled position of trust within his or her place of employment as the primary point of contact between employers and employees. The butler is a person that the employing individuals and/or their family members can confide in and share their expectations and requirements in terms of service.
In Luxury Hotels, the term ‘head waiter’ is often used to designate the employee charged with managing reception and welcome areas. In government-owned buildings, such as the Elysée Palace in Paris or national state embassies, the term ‘doorman’ is used to designate a similar role. Indeed, both these roles hold responsibilities that differ only slightly from those of most butlers.
In these roles, employees are expected to provide an appropriate welcome for important guests, such as ambassadors and politicians, and effectively run the establishment's catering services, whatever these may consist of. This means not only making guests feel welcome, announcing their arrival, ensuring their comfort at all times, but also handling their correspondence, undertaking particular errands or demands when requested.
This modern yet traditional service is becoming increasingly popular in luxury hotels, private lounges and clubs, where clients are looking for a more personalised and welcoming experience.
What are the responsibilities of a Butler / Majordomo ?
The role consists primarily of managing household staff. This includes organising, advising and supervising estate personnel (such as cleaning, laundry and kitchen staff, chauffeurs, gardeners etc.) in accordance with the employer’s specific demands and expectations.
Being responsible for household staff includes activities such as: drawing up timetables, general management and recruitment, administrative duties, maintenance of the grounds and equipment.
While the range of responsibilities a butler may have will depend on the employer and household, these usually include variants of the following:
- Overseeing correct layout, change-over and upkeep of table services for breakfast, lunch and evening meals; preparing dining tables in traditional English or French styles
- Maintaining and cleaning valuable silverware, fine porcelain and crystal wares
- Managing and maintaining employers' wardrobes (ensuring clothes are washed, pressed and arranged, shoes polished etc.)
- Preparing travel plans and luggage
- Preserving and managing security for private art collections
- Managing stock and supply operations, in particular of high value commodities such as fine wines, cigars etc.
- Managing and supervising the creation and upkeep of floral displays
- Understanding, promoting and defending household protocols among staff and guests
- Recruiting and training household staff
- Maintaining exhaustive, up-to-date inventories of valuables
- Inviting and welcoming guests
- Establishing and keeping to workable estate budgets in collaboration with the employer
- Serving food and drinks, ensuring proper service at all times
- Organising social events
- Liaising with financial and accounting staff
- Taking telephone calls, proper handling of correspondence
The precise role of a butler has evolved considerably in recent years and traditional conceptions of this job have substantially changed. Indeed, a butler today can often be considered akin to a personal assistant for the landlord and his family.
A modern butler needs to be able to multi-task, as the modern employer is generally looking for multi-skilled representatives with a good working knowledge of IT and new technologies. He or she may also be called on to act as a chauffeur, a chef, a PA and an events organiser.
Increasingly, we are seeing the emergence of the 'Super-Butler'. These are modern, highly-skilled and generally multi-lingual individuals, who are willing to travel alongside their employer(s) to ensure their comfort, business and household demands are being met at all times, anywhere in the world.
What accommodation should you expect as a Butler, Head Butler, or Majordomo?
Accommodation is usually offered within the household, such as an apartment contained within, or close to the main house.
In some cases butlers are not offered accommodation by the employer, however they will still need to live in close proximity to the estate to ensure their availability at all times.
All our butlers, head butlers and majordomos are required to:
- Hold a clean criminal record in both their country of employment and country of origin
- Present all certificates and qualifications from training centres and/or schools they attended
- Successfully pass two interview stages
- Provide at least three positive references from previous employers
- Complete a professional dossier containing: CV, cover letter, proof of identity (photocopy or scan), proof of address, proof of the right to work in the country of employment (if applicable), driving license and pay slips from previous professional placements. Candidates should be aware that other documentation may also be required.
Morgan & Mallet International places and recruits butlers and majordomos for temporary, seasonal or permanent contracts.
Our recruitment consultants are always available to answer your questions.