Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, March 2018, The Butlers Speak

Steven Ferry

The Butlers Speak

Job Titles and Duties

by Steven Ferry

Continuing the canvassing of those in our profession for the current realties, this next subject concerns job titles and duties and yielded some interesting results.

Job Title (some had more than one title)

  • Household Manager 40%;
  • PA 40%;
  • Estate Manager 20%;
  • Butler 20%;
  • Valet 20%;
  • Executive Housekeeper 20%.

Basic Duties Assigned

These functions were performed by every respondent:

  • Anything needed by the Principles;
  • Vendor supervision.

These functions were performed by 4-in-every-5 of the respondents:

  • Manage 1-5 properties;
  • PA to the Principal;
  • Supplies monitoring, ordering, and stocking.

These functions were performed by 3-in-every-5 of the respondents:

  • Greeting and looking after guests;
  • HR functions.

These functions were performed by 2-in-every-5 of the respondents:

  • Gift and clothes shopping for principals;
  • Accounting, budget, payroll;
  • Managing Cap Ex projects from concept to completion;
  • Plan and execute/supervise events;
  • Food and beverage service, formal and informal;
  • Bar and cellar management;
  • Housekeeping.

The rest were performed only by 1-in-every-5 of the respondents:

  • Arranging travel for family;
  • Travelling with family;
  • Valeting;
  • Tracking and receiving mail/packages;
  • Answering the phone and the door;
  • Laundry and ironing for guests;
  • Cooking, including menu planning, shopping, and preps;
  • Caring for the dog;
  • Chauffeur;
  • Flower purchase and arranging.

The wide range of duties reflects the change in employer perception and expectations of their butlers/household managers, and naturally, we accommodate their evolving needs.

The work-load varied, with some having a wide range of duties that included housekeeping of 30,000 sq. ft., cooking, looking after guests, managing vendors, etc., while another basically supervised vendors for a couple of smaller properties and looked after a dog. The latter is a good solution for anyone in the profession winding down from a long career and needing a lighter work-load.


The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.»


Por Steven Ferry

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.