What the Butler Does

The butler has long held a fascination for the world. Imperturbable, dependable and honest are just some of the sobriquets accorded to this almost mythical figure. He, for that was the case, was originally the key holder of the cellar, and bouteiller from French, was his original title. Over the centuries the butler’s duties and importance have changed and the position now carries a large responsibility.

The diminution of grand houses post-Second World War ensured that the demand for skilled domestics plummeted only recovering in recent years as the nouveau riche began showing its wealth by ostentatious means, domestic staff included. This renewed interest in engaging private staff has given the butler profession a huge boost and has led to changes in the butler’s work. Formerly the head of the domestic household and confidant of the master of the house the butler nowadays must be familiar with tasks ranging from I.T problems to organising renovations to obeying the rules of protocol to doing the school run.

Modern butlers must be excellent managers above all and not just capable in the dining room. A butler may find himself or herself, more women are attracted to the profession than before, in a variety of posts worldwide. Cultural sensitivity and a good general culture are as important as an excellent service manner and the ability to evolve in one’s position is paramount as patience is perhaps a butler’s ultimate quality. Being able to lead a team in a firm yet considerate is another prime attribute which in itself stems from good organisation.

It is however – service to the principal that is of greatest importance to a butler and ensuring that this comes first is the duty; everything else is secondary but many questions will be asked if any of them have been neglected!

About Patrick Kelly

Patrick Kelly is 48 years old and qualified as a butler in 2014 having graduated from The International Butler Academy in the Netherlands. He comes from a catering background and is a graduate of London South Bank University where he obtained a BA Hotel management. At The International Butler Academy, Mr. Kelly stood out because of his personality and character, his management qualities and his overall professionalism. Mr. Kelly was appreciated by all, instructors and fellow students alike, for his understanding and support to all around him. He valued hard work and working as part of a team. Having worked for many years in the hospitality industry, Mr. Kelly has decided that his career in the future will be in the world of private service and he wishes to work in a private household or in corporate butling situation. He has worked in many facets of the hospitality industry and has experience leading teams. Mr. Kelly also has experience in the wine industry where he has experience of primary production and in sales both to the off and on-sales sectors. Furthermore, Mr. Kelly has had experience in fine wines and in export having been involved in setting up an export service to China. Currently working in the wine industry, Mr. Kelly is nevertheless altering his career path to follow a long-held ambition to be of service. He feels that his career until now, although in the service industry, has not had enough of the personal element of service. Great service for him is an adherence to the tenets of energy, passion and commitment that are the hallmarks of truly great service naturally allied to excellent technical skills. The need for discretion is very important for Mr. Kelly and he has always been honest in his career. He knows what it means to be utterly loyal. During his career, he has maintained the highest standards of integrity and professionalism when dealing with private and professional clients.

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