The Modern Butlers’ Journal, September 2018

Message from Editing Team of the Modern Butlers’ Journal

Carumba! Our web host changed the location of our web site so the code used for sending the August newsletter out, could not find the web site! It took some real sleuthing to find this little snafu, which is why the newsletter went out five days late—our apologies.

Our apologies also go out to anyone who read this below letter to the editor in that issue and could make neither head nor tails of it:

“It is nice to see that since you have started these interactive articles, the newsletter has become more informative and it looks like more people respond to it. Bravo! One point of criticism is the format it comes in: I find it more difficult to read now it is sent in “chapters,” which results in opening an article and having to return to the e-mail for the next one. Maybe I haven’t fully understood how it is supposed to work, but as I have said before I am a bit of a computer illiterate.” AB

Web master: I understand the difficulty, thank you (and thank you for the compliment, too). This is quite easy to work around. In the e-mail you receive, click on the “See the Modern Butlers Journal in your browser” above the masthead. This will open the same content, but in your default browser. Now, I don’t know what browser you normally use but this works in Microsoft Edge (previously known as Internet Explorer), as well as Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox: Click on ALL “Read more…” links by pressing the CTRL button at the same time. This will open each article in a new tab (thus, if there are 10 articles in the MBJ, you will have 10 new tabs). Normally, the tab next to the current tab is the first article, and the tab at the furthest right is the last article. If you read each article and close the tab after finishing, the browser will normally take you to the next tab/article. I hope this suggestion helps!

When the newsletter finally went out, it did not have the masthead referred to in the advice from the web master. So, please, give it another try: The masthead is back!

Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven FerryAs touched upon elsewhere in this issue, this month marks the beginnings of an important initiative in the world of the hospitality butler: the training of 27 professors at St. Benilde college of the De La Salle University in Manilla. Filipinos are famous the world over for boosting the ranks of hospitality and even private service…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

When I was working as a butler, I installed remote front doorbells under tables at strategic locations so the principals could call me discreetly when they needed anything. That was the modern and less-obvious version of hand bells that were sometimes used to summons the butler, or bells on pulley systems that were…

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Letters to the Editor

An email was sent to the editor relaying an unfortunate article that was published last month. It conveyed the idea that luxury hotels were stalking their guests in maintaining a guest database. This idea is disconcerting, given that both private and hospitality butlers are encouraged to compile such guest profiles in order

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Professional Standards of Performance, Applications #9: Driving Cars

by Prof. Richard Ratliff

Scenario: An employer gives an older car to his son, who is heading off to university, and buys a new car for himself—a $425,000 beauty with everything you might expect from such a vehicle. Features included the capability of 160 mph, 0-to-60 in the snap of your fingers and cornering comparable to a fine race car…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 16: Looking Glasses

by Steven Ferry

“Looking glasses, mirrors, etc.” is the next category that butlers were responsible for cleaning, or seeing cleaned. Looking glass was first used in 1526 to describe a mirror. What is the difference between the two? None really, unless mirrors were smaller and used for personal grooming, while looking glasses were larger and…

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The Butlers Speak: Looking After the Elderly

by Steven Ferry

For this month’s topic, we found something interesting: 70% of those surveyed have not had to care for/supervise the care of, elderly principals. 10% declined to comment for fear of breaking confidentiality, which left 20% who had something to share on the subject. We provide their feedback in full…

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Staff Training: Training Needs Analysis

by Frank Mitchell

TNA determines what to train and helps justify training, especially if there is an associated cost. It directs time, money and effort where it is needed most, avoiding non-productive training sessions that frustrate competent employees. At its most basic, TNA is the comparison of observed behavior to desired behavior…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 36: Bloody Mary

by Amer A. Vargas

In this ocassion we go back to classic cocktails to learn a bit about one of the most famous cocktails worldwide: the Bloody Mary. This cocktail uses a variety of ingredients and one can add others to offer a more personal and interesting twist. he basic Bloody Mary requires: 4,5 cl (1,5 oz) of vodka, 9 cl (3 oz) of tomato juice…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Silver Storage and Display, Materials to Avoid

by Jeff Herman

Some storage materials should be avoided: Wrapping in newspaper or binding in rubber bands can cause deep discolorations that may have to be removed professionally. Never use plastic wrap, as it will bond to silver over time, requiring solvents for removal. Finally, non-archival corrugated cardboard boxes may contain…

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In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience

“A summary of the feedback from the 27 professors at De la Salle University in Manila, who were trained on the art of butling, and how to train butlers for the hospitality industry:

The trainers were: Most patient with novices like us; Very flexible…

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Recent Hospitality Graduates

The Institute’s Chairman, Prof. Steven Ferry, and Vice President for Asia, Mr. Budi Prihardjanto, are shown here with some of the 27 graduating professors from De La Salle University in Manila, who were trained to provide butler and superior service training at the College of Saint Benilde School of Hotel, Restaurant…

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Placement and Job Vacancies

Full-time Butler Position: A Fort Worth, TX family is looking for a full-time live-out Butler. The candidate should be multi-dimensional and willing and able to perform any task required in a busy home, formal or informal. Compensation will be 10% greater than your current proven compensation, with benefits

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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. Contact us for all your training needs via email at or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.