Butlers are recognized the world over as providers of a superior level of service for those who can afford it.
Butlers have existed in private estates for centuries and businesses, cruise lines, and hotels for decades.
Butler service, although not butlers, now exists, measured in days, in an entirely new field: the high-end retirement community, thanks to the vision of the three dynamic owners of Living Life on the Avenue in Toronto and their dedicated managers and eager staff.
The Institute’s vision is for all service industries to adopt what they can from the butler service model—the mindset and specific services offered. Why limit superior service to the wealthy when the most important element of the butler service model is the attitude and approach to service, neither of which require millions in the bank to experience?
We are therefore very happy to announce that superior service is now making its way into the retirement community.
My time in Toronto was mostly spent working, but being based just off Yorkville Avenue meant wonderful shops and restaurants to visit at night. The dealership for Maserati and Ferrari was right by my hotel, and they seemed to take a proactive approach to recommending their cars to passers by: parking them outside my hotel and driving them slowly around town, parking them wherever they could be parked. The Four Seasons obviously approved, because the inference was drivers of those cars were staying at the hotel—and maybe they were.
For me, the highlight of the stay at the old Haight-Ashbury of Toronto was chancing upon Le Trou Normand, a small French restaurant jammed between two buildings, and offering classic French cuisine that showed up most of the competition as eager also-rans. “Le Trou Normand” does not mean a hole in the ground in Normandy, or even a Norman hole in the wall, but refers to a palate cleanser of fiery Calvados, an apple-based brandy. I was not offered any, but then again, I had no dish requiring a palate cleanser.
The restaurant was not well attended—a sign of the changing taste of the times, not the quality of the food and the ambiance.
For those who still appreciate quality dining and romance, check it out: 90 Yorkville Avenue.
About the Author (Author Profile)Steven Ferry is chairman of the International Institute of Modern Butlers and the author of bestsellers "Butlers & Household Managers 21st Century Professionals" and "Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators." He also trains and consults for the profession around the world.
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