Domestic butler

A domestic butler


Domestic butlers serve at official meals, monitor meal preparations and table setting and manage the household staff. They may also offer personal assistance in booking travel arrangements and restaurants, valeting and clothing care.

The duties of a domestic butler include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring that cleaning and household chores are completed.
  • Answering telephonic and written communications on behalf of the employer.
  • Greeting guests in a professional manner upon their arrival.
  • Sourcing and training new staff, preparing and communicating staff schedules, and running payroll.
  • Coordinating the maintenance and preservation of the estate’s artworks, antiques, and silverware.
  • Assisting with the management of important assets, including wines, cigars, books, and automobiles.
  • Overseeing monthly budgeting and security, as well as household inventories for the property.
  • Assisting the employer and other household staff with the planning of events.
  • Overseeing the smooth running of hosted events, parties, and dinners.
  • Performing all duties and obligations with decorum, tact, and unwavering professionalism.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to domestic butler:

domestic house manager

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a domestic butler. Any experience in hospitality, catering, or culinary arts is an asset.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Domestic butler is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Domestic butler career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to domestic butler.

hotel butler
domestic housekeeper
quick service restaurant team leader

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of domestic butler. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of domestic butler with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

camping ground manager
rooms division manager
private chef
hospitality entertainment manager
head pastry chef

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of domestic butler.

  • Coach employees: Maintain and improve employees’ performance by coaching individuals or groups how to optimise specific methods, skills or abilities, using adapted coaching styles and methods. Tutor newly recruited employees and assist them in the learning of new business systems.
  • Maintain personal hygiene standards: Preserve impeccable personal hygiene standards and have a tidy appearance.
  • Oversee guest laundry service: Ensure that guest laundry is collected, cleaned and returned to a high standard and in a timely fashion.
  • Give instructions to staff: Give instructions to subordinates by employing various communication techniques. Adjust communication style to the target audience in order to convey instructions as intended.
  • Maintain relationship with customers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with customers in order to ensure satisfaction and fidelity by providing accurate and friendly advice and support, by delivering quality products and services and by supplying after-sales information and service.
  • Greet guests: Welcome guests in a friendly manner in a certain place.
  • Organise wine cellar: Systematise the wine cellar to ensure an appropriate amount and variation of wine and carry-out efficient and effective stock rotation.
  • Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
  • Serve food in table service: Provide food at the table whilst maintaining high level of customer service and food safety standards.
  • Serve wines: Provide wine using proper techniques in front of the customers. Open the bottle correctly, decant the wine if needed, serve and keep the wine in the proper temperature and container.
  • Arrange tables: Organise and dress tables to accommodate special events.
  • Schedule shifts: Plan staff time and shifts to reflect the demands of the business.
  • Serve beverages: Provide a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drinks, mineral waters, wine and bottled beer over a counter or using a tray.
  • Manage maintenance operations: Oversee maintenance activities, making sure that staff is following procedures and ensuring routine and periodic refurbishment and maintenance activities.
  • Communicate by telephone: Liaise via telephone by making and answering calls in a timely, professional and polite manner.
  • Check dining room cleanliness: Control dining areas including their floor and wall surfaces, tables and serving stations and ensure appropriate cleanliness.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of domestic butler. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Dietary regimes: The field of food habits and dietary regimes, including those inspired by religious beliefs.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of domestic butler. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Feed pets: Make sure that pets are given appropriate food and water on time.
  • Perform dusting activities: Remove dust from furniture, blinds and windowsills using specialised dust cloths or hand-cleaning items.
  • Use food preparation techniques: Apply food preparation techniques including the selecting, washing, cooling, peeling, marinating, preparing of dressings and cutting of ingredients.
  • Buy groceries: Purchase ingredients, products and tools that are necessary for daily housekeeping activities.
  • Provide dog walking services: Provide dog-walking services, including activities such as agreement of services with the customer, selection and use of handling equipment, interaction with the dog, and safe and responsible dog walking.
  • Clean rooms: Clean rooms by cleaning glasswork and windows, polishing furniture, vacuuming carpets, scrubbing hard floors, and removing garbage.
  • Use gardening equipment: Use gardening equipment such as clippers, sprayers, mowers, chainsaws, complying to health and safety regulations.
  • Administer appointments: Accept, schedule and cancel appointments.
  • Supervise food quality: Oversee the quality and safety of food served to visitors and customers according to food standards.
  • Arrange special events: Organise the necessary preparations for catering at special events such as conferences, large parties or banquets.
  • Assist clients with special needs: Aid clients with special needs following relevant guidelines and special standards. Recognise their needs and accurately respond to them if needed.
  • Wash vehicles: Wash and dry vehicle and ensure that paint is kept intact by waxing and polishing vehicle using the appropriate tools.
  • Monitor work for special events: Oversee activities during special events taking into account specific objectives, schedule, timetable, agenda, cultural limitations, account rules and legislation.
  • Handle delivered packages: Administer delivered packages and ensure that they all reach their destination in time.
  • Use cooking techniques: Apply cooking techniques including grilling, frying, boiling, braising, poaching, baking or roasting.
  • Handle guest luggage: Manage, pack, unpack and store guest luggage on request.
  • Supervise children: Keep the children under supervision for a certain period of time, ensuring their safety at all times.
  • Make reservations: Book restaurants, hotels or flights.

ISCO group and title

5152 – Domestic housekeepers

  1. Domestic butler – ESCO
  2. Butler Job Description – Betterteam
  3. Featured image: Photo by on Unsplash
Last updated on November 10, 2022

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