The International Institute of Modern Butlers, Teaching Right Mindset, People-skills, & Superior-service Expertise

Welcome to the International Institute of Modern Butlers, now in its second decade of operation and undergoing a change of focus. We were originally established to help set and raise standards in the butler training and consulting professions, which we did through books, articles, training around the world, and campaigning at every turn. We are pleased to report that the number of trainers and consultants has blossomed in the last few years, and by recent inspection, much of what is being taught and done, in terms of sentiments expressed, subjects covered, and services offered, first saw the light of day through the Institute’s innovations and efforts. Perhaps one of the reasons we are referred to as “an Ivy League butling institution.”

The Institute championed the concept of the Modern Butler at a time (quarter of a century ago) when it was considered iconoclastic (strongly countering accepted traditions), but events have marched on and proven that there is indeed a strong demand internationally for the strengths of the old-fashioned English butler combined with the technological and other skills required to operate effectively in the international community of the 21st Century.

Over the years, we have brought new services into being at hotels and resorts, defining and redefining what is a hospitality butler, in addition to introducing butler-style service and standards to other industries where the focus is on providing high levels of service.

In this tradition, the Institute is now focused on a new phase that we see as the future need and direction of the industry: pioneering the nurturing of individuals who can bring about a greater zest for, and appreciation of, life, both in the people they serve and in themselves. This means our training includes the mechanical skills of butling—be they orchestrating a party for 200 or the acquiring, manning, and managing of a large estate. But more importantly, drawing on our backgrounds as counselors and teachers, the training brings about an understanding of people, whether employees, vendors, guests, or employers, and how to make them all work together in their different roles to the benefit of all. Life did not come with a manual: we seek to remedy that lack in the specific sphere of providing service to others.

This drive is all the more pressing as the forces of automation predict the replacement of the majority of the human work force by 2030; and tellingly, invariably call their creations Robot Butlers, a nod to the butler as the quintessential service provider, but a direct threat to humanity as well as our profession—for apart from the mindless bots reading this, most of our readership is human, and we’d like humans to continue to serve humans and maintain our mutual humanity. So while humans continue to slide into an increasingly mechanistic and electronic age and lifestyle, we believe true long-term joy comes about from human interactions, hence our drive to reinforce what is alive about the staff who serve their employers.

If you are looking only for assistance with the mechanical skills of the butler, then may we suggest that you would be well-served by any of the other butler trainers around the world?

If you recognize the need for a new solution to the old problems of failing/struggling or disengaged/unmotivated/difficult staff, challenging guests or employers, or the creation of an upbeat team that really is one in the household or in the butler department of a hotel or resort, then we will resolve these issues for you—as well as, of course, teaching the expected mechanical skillsets.

We believe five-star standards are best served by five-star training—which does not mean exorbitant rates, but it does mean that our aim is to put in the necessary time and know-how to bring about well-trained butlers who are suitably empowered and a credit to their employers. We are happy to participate in projects where this is the understanding and goal.

Please enjoy what the web site has to offer—it is an informational portal more than  a sophisticated work of digital art, for which we make no apologies: Butlers who understand their profession steer away from showmanship in favor of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get nature, even as they remain sophisticated in taste and appreciative of the finer things of life.

Steven Ferry (Professor)