Butler Academy Training Information

Since 2009, SABA International Butler Academy has conducted a dedicated 8-week Butler training program. We focus on practical Butler skills which include; household management, food and beverage service, housekeeping, etiquette and protocol, lifestyle management, valet service, cooking skills, entertainment skills, homeschooling, security awareness, concierge skills and hotel Butler service.

The method we use in providing our training is our forte, as may be seen in the many videos on our website. We are colourful, alive and very modern. SABA provides each student with the foundation and the skillset to confidently work as a qualified or certified Butler.

To become a successful Butler, one must have a unique desire to serve and to be of service to others. You will need to follow a strict code of conduct and ethics which we all adhere to. Our standards are high and the outcome is incredible.

SABA International Butler Academy provides private butler training for individuals of all ages – hence we are a private exclusive institution. Our training will equip you to manage a modern home or to work as a professional hotel butler across the world. SABA International Butler Academy provides butler training which is effective and pro-active, we are masters at the art of professional discreet butler service.

Thinking of butlers often evokes images of an old mansion, and a greying servant attending to his master and his estate – but the profession is very much alive in South Africa and Internationally. SABA International Butler Academy celebrates 11 years of butler training and butler recruitment.

At SABA International Butler Academy we teach our students the folowing subjects during our prestigious 8 week butler course at the Butler School in Plattekloof Cape Town.

The South African Butler Academy is a unique Butler Training institute which offers Butler Training to individuals who want to start a new career as Professional Butlers / Household Managers and Personal Assistants.

SABA – South African Butler Academy – is world renowned for our modern approach to Butler Service in private households, resorts, exclusive yachts and passenger liners.

At SABA you will undergo an eight week intensive (yet, so much fun) training program which is not only focused on skills, but also on interpersonal relationship management skills within the sophisticated environment of Butlers.

We do require all applicants to be aware that the SABA Butler Training program is based on both solid theoretical and practical Butler skills. At SABA, our trainers express experiential training.

All previous students who attended the training program have consistently given exceptional feedback on the successful outcome in their new work environment. Above all, you will also meet working Butlers in Cape Town, site visits and access to our virtual butler school classroom!

How does the course run? 

We always say at school plan for the unexpected as in a household anything can happen, nothing is as you think it might be… However we believe in structure and discipline –  so a typical course day starts at 8.30 to 14h30 however, we might adjust these and ask for flexibility.

Some days may be earlier and some longer. Also, we require your full co-operation during the course and availability is key on weekends. Our trainers will coach each throughout the 8 -week course period. Some days we will split the day into two groups for one on one intensive training.  Every day we will provide feedback and assist our students in becoming a professional seven star Butlers. At the end of the day our students represent us (SABA) and we strive for the best quality!  Each student will have access to our online butler classroom and we will have time dedicated to virtual butler studies.

The Butler Academy Curriculum

SABA International Butler Training program is broken down into two parts; part one is Residential Butling and part two is Hotel Butling.

Butlers and household managers in today’s residential market must understand the skill set of each staff member in the residence. Our students learn how to correctly execute each household job to facilitate superior management of their staff. We have mastered an excellent curriculum of which we are very proud. The Butler Academy Curriculum is extremely practical with offsite visits to Butlers working in Cape Town as residential Butlers, Hotels and step onboard luxury private yachts. We know that hands-on training is the best.

As we would like to give you a complete in-depth breakdown of our curriculum, we simply cannot as this is our recipe for success. However, we would like to give you a glimpse!

The Butler is an all rounder responsible for anything and everything happening in and around the house / estate. Today Butlers manage more than one household. Also, the Butler may be responsible for catering on private yachts or jets. Butler’s work in top 5 star Hotels and Resorts across the world and the expectation of excellent service is very high. Therefore our curriculum is diverse and covers a broad spectrum of a modern Butler requirements and skills.

stay professional and you will achieve so much more

Newton Cross

The role of a professional Butler

  • The tardiness, personal traits, unique skills, standard operating procedures, professional standards, attention to detail, setting up your household week 1 , cultural diversity, and language studies.

Butler administration and the modern Butler

  • Today we are required to provide Butlers with basic accounting skills, understand technology, perform a range of technology requests and setup home automation. The Academy prides itself on our in-house technology labwith state of the art equipment for all our students. We teach our students how to design your petty cash book on excel, how to present a project on power point or keynote, write a formal letter on word or pages and what are the do`s and dont`s when writing an email.

Managing a 21st century home & how to manage and work with your team of staff

  • The household is managed in two parts the “people” and the physical or the environment. Each Butler is required to work and plan with his / her team. Human resources, interviewing skills, house rules and personnel issues are but a few interpersonal skills. Butlers are required to appoint new staff or dismiss staff – important skills in any work place. Respectful handling of clients property and boundaries.

Food & Beverage Service

  • Entertaining skills, table service, setting up the bar, mixology (mixing cocktails), knowledge of wine (how to present. pour and pair with food), table linen, napkin folding, setting up a cocktail party or reception and picnic planning. At the Academy we cook every day, cooking is an important skill for every Butler. Every day we prepare meals for students, teachers, guests and plan events (practical dinners, luncheons and our signature breakfasts) and cooking a 10-course menu!

Household Management & Housekeeping

  • White board management includes; setting of routines and schedules, household hierarchy, defining and standards, online purchasing, and zoning. At the Academy we expect nothing but the highest of hygiene and housekeeping standards, students are required to partake in cleaning every day. Each day we appoint a head Butler who will be in-charge of the daily planning, cleaning, cooking, servicing and running errands for teachers. Part of Housekeeping is laundry management, at the Academy, we offer training on Laura Star Ironing systems imported from Switzerland. Laundry skills are by far top of our training lists as the Butler will be responsible for all laundry in the household. How to set up a laundry room, using the correct products, how to operated washing machines and tumble dryers. Another fun class is our stain removal class! Some of the practical classes include; ironing, steaming, pressing, sewing, brushing jackets, dry cleaning, washing, drying and sorting of clothing.

Etiquette & Protocol 

  • Social behavior, manners and what to do when important guests are visiting. At the Academy, each student receives in-depth training on etiquette. We take a step back into time in order to understand social rules of the future. The Academy trainers or tutors are gurus in etiquette and social rules. All students simply love these lectures as they are fun and packed with new skills for all. Some of the topics covered; cultural differences, interpersonal skills, body language, remembering names and making conversation, telephone manners, presentation skills and entertaining etiquette,  social and business etiquette, common-sense good manners, and consideration for others, personal norms and values.

Special areas of expertise

  • In every Butler environment, you might be expected to light a cigar or decant a very expensive wine or perhaps service cognac. The world of champagnes and serving champagne! At the Academy, our students receive master classes by industry professionals who have worked on site at “Krug” and hand you first-hand product knowledge. Cape Town or Stellenbosch is the 3rd largest wine producer in the world with award winning number one wine / brandy / Methode Cap Classique estates.  Product knowledge is a key element, it defines our Butlers from the rest of the world.

Cooking classes & knife skills

  • During the Butler training program, we teach our students the importance of planning and confidence in the kitchen. We fine-tune and expand our students culinary skills and cooking classes are presented almost every day. We take a look at local and international cuisine giving students the opportunity to create incredible delicious dishes.Staying seasonal and tropical, the program covers a wide spectrum of food types and cooking methods. Classes are presented at the Academy and at the prestigious Miele kitchen.  Students will prepare basic dishes to more advanced dishes. Balancing food is important and above all – how to pair food and wine. Menu planning is an important part of our curriculum.

Concierge service & Valeting Skills

  • Butlers are presented with geography classes and language lesson on Russian, Chinese, French and German. International knowledge is imperative and every Butler student is giving tasks to present to the rest of the team during the course.  Packing suitcases and taking care of shoes, ties, suits, dresses and understanding dress codes is just as important.

Child Care and Au Pairing skills

  • First aid lectures, child care / infant care classes and how to prepare children meals are part of our program.  Creating a stimulating environment teaching the younger ones skills and organizing their schedules. Butlers are required to look after children from time to time and it is important to interact and understand the signs and skills presented to you!

Pet and Animal Care

  • At the Academy, we are fond of animals and this class is probably the most popular. We take a field trip to the world of Birds and Animals. Lectures on feeding, walking and stimulating pets are important. As a Butler you might be required to feed pets, walk them and take great care of your clients most loved possessions. Also, it is important to take responsible animal care, understand animal welfare, take care of pets behavioural needs and grooming of dogs and cats.

Hotel Butler & Corporate Butler

  • The Hotel Butler represents the Hotel image and brand. The Butler training program focuses on 5 signature Hotel Butler skills. During the program, our students will be required to present these signature services and  understand the duties of a Hotel Butler. Taking care of several Hotel guests can be difficult and therefore the program allow each student the opportunity to work under pressure and still give 100% excellent service. Corporate Butling is a new subject; setting up a board-room, running errands, administrative skills, faxing & emailing for clients, setting up international conference calls and designing a guest profile.

Security and Safety

  • Special lectures are given by a company called “Global Intelligence” and is part of our security awareness and Butler Self  Maintenance class. We take a look at mistakes Butlers have made in the past and learn from these case studies, we teach our students on security and safety. How to create and environment which is safe and secure. What to do in a difficult situation, how to avoid mishaps and looking at the real picture. Becoming a SABA Butler is rewarding and once you nearing the end of your course a path of self-discovery and advancement of many skills is extraordinary.

Chauffeuring & Travel

  • During each butler training program, we teach our students how to prepare vehicles for guests & clients, and how to drive very expensive vehicles. Each student receives an opportunity to drive and prepare vehicles as it would be done in a Butlers environment. Making travel arrangements and planning excursions is an important part of our butler curriculum.

Employment & Interviews

  • At the South African Butler Academy, we have an important company onsite called Guild Recruitment International taking care of our Butlers future employment. Special classes are presented by the recruitment team on; interviewing skills, demeanor, selling techniques, profiling and key techniques on how to present yourself during an interview with your future employer. The recruitment team will present opportunities suited to each student who wishes to be employed.

Taking care of others is a unique gift and at the Academy, you are well looked after by professional Butlers who have years of experience. The above cannot summarize the course as we cover many more topics practically. Every day is different and you will love the South African Butler Academy course!

Advance practical Butler training

Every day we have three parts to the program, first part is morning routine (known as morning cleanup and setup) then we start with theory training (culinary terminology, subject lesson from our handbook called the Butlers Compendium) following by a Head Butler who is in charge of the setup, serving and preparing of luncheons. The last part of the day is practical – folding, ironing, setting tables, cooking, mixing of several cocktails, packing suitcases, planning for the next day or we may be out on a field trip (there are many practicals) Also we have a Virtual Butler Studio where by we will visit international brands in virtuality. How exiting.

One of the most important yet fun parts of our day is role playing. Role-playing is an important instrument we use in our training methods. It allows students an opportunity to know and understand what it is like to be in charge of a large staff and at the same time the staff will learn to work under a demanding supervisor.

We create real events / scenarios at the Academy and we set the scene with unexpected requests as team-work is extremely important. One of many examples is our science projects which children in the house may receive from school, packing luncheons, unexpected last minute dinners, drinks service, afternoon tea ceremony, travel checklist, making appointments and many many more… Remember once you qualify at the Butler Academy you will be so proud of your accomplishments and knowing that you have just finished a training program of matchless quality. 

If you are interested in a shorter course without any travel, we do recommend applying for our signature virtual butler course. Please note this course is only 5 days and focuses on an overview of skills.

Click on the contact us page or Online Butler Training.