Since 2009, the SABA International Butler Academy has offered an 8-week dedicated Butler training program. Our program focuses on practical Butler skills, including 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.
Our forte lies in the method we use to provide our training, which can be seen in many videos on our website. We are colorful, lively, and modern. SABA provides each student with the foundation and skill set to confidently work as a qualified or certified Butler.
To become a successful Butler, one must have a unique desire to serve and 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 exclusive private butler training for individuals of all ages. Our training equips you to manage a modern home or work as a professional hotel butler anywhere in the world. Our butler training is highly effective and proactive, and we are masters at the art of professional, discreet butler service.
Before enrolling onto a professional butler course, make sure you have a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of a butler. This will help you determine if the profession is right for you and ensure you get the most out of your training.
As we celebrate our 14th year of butler training and recruitment, the profession of butling continues to thrive both in South Africa and internationally. Despite the outdated stereotype of a greying servant tending to his master’s estate, the role of a modern butler is one of dynamic versatility and sophistication.
At the South African Butler Academy (SABA), we recognize and embrace this evolution of the butler profession. Our eight-week training program at our prestigious Butler School in Plattekloof, Cape Town, covers a wide range of subjects to prepare our students for a career as professional butlers, household managers, and personal assistants.
Our modern approach to butler service has earned us a world-renowned reputation, with our graduates successfully working in private households, resorts, exclusive yachts, and passenger liners.
At SABA, we understand that a butler’s role goes beyond just performing tasks and executing skills. Our training program emphasizes interpersonal relationship management skills within the sophisticated environment of butling.
We take pride in providing our students with experiential training, both theoretical and practical. Our past students consistently provide exceptional feedback on the success of our program and the positive impact it has had on their new work environments.
As a part of our training, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from working butlers in Cape Town, participate in site visits, and access our virtual butler school classroom. Join us at SABA International Butler Academy and embark on a fulfilling career in modern butling.
How does the course run?
At our school, we understand the importance of planning for the unexpected. We know that in a household, anything can happen and nothing is ever as predictable as we might hope. That being said, we still believe in the value of structure and discipline.
Our typical course day begins promptly at 8:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm. However, we do reserve the right to make adjustments to this schedule as needed and ask for flexibility from our students. Some days may be shorter, while others may be longer. We also require our students’ full cooperation during the course, and availability on weekends is key.
Throughout the 8-week course period, our trainers will coach each student individually. Some days, we may split the day into two groups for one-on-one intensive training. We provide daily feedback and support to help our students become professional seven-star Butlers.
At the end of the day, our students represent us (SABA), and we strive for the highest quality. Each student will have access to our online Butler classroom, and we dedicate time specifically to virtual Butler studies.
Join us at SABA and let us help you become the best Butler you can be!
The Butler Academy Curriculum
The SABA International Butler Training program is divided into two parts: Residential Butling and Hotel Butling. Our students learn both skill sets as butlers and household managers in today’s residential market must have a deep understanding of each staff member’s skill set in the residence. This enables them to correctly execute each household job and facilitate superior management of their staff. We are proud of our excellent curriculum, which is extremely practical, including offsite visits to working residential butlers in Cape Town, hotels, and luxury private yachts. We believe that hands-on training is the best form of learning.
While we would love to provide a complete in-depth breakdown of our curriculum, we simply cannot, as it is our recipe for success. However, we can give you a glimpse! Butlers are all-rounders responsible for anything and everything happening in and around the house or estate. Today, butlers manage more than one household and may also be responsible for catering on private yachts or jets. Butlers 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 modern butler requirements and skills.
Household Management & Housekeeping
- Whiteboard management encompasses a variety of tasks, such as establishing routines and schedules, establishing a household hierarchy, defining and enforcing standards, managing online purchases, and zoning. At our academy, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of hygiene and housekeeping, and all students are expected to participate in daily cleaning activities. Each day, we designate a head butler who is responsible for planning, cleaning, cooking, and running errands for teachers.
- In addition to general housekeeping duties, we offer training in laundry management, with a focus on the use of Laura Star Ironing systems imported from Switzerland. Laundry skills are among our top training priorities, as butlers are responsible for all household laundry. Our laundry management training covers topics such as setting up a laundry room, using the correct products, and operating washing machines and tumble dryers. We even offer a fun and interactive stain removal class!
- Our practical classes cover a wide range of topics, including ironing, steaming, pressing, sewing, brushing jackets, dry cleaning, washing, drying, and sorting clothing. We believe that these skills are essential for maintaining a well-managed household and ensuring that our butlers are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to excel in their roles.
Etiquette & Protocol
- At the Academy, we place great emphasis on social behavior, manners, and how to conduct oneself when important guests are visiting. Each student receives in-depth training on etiquette, which includes an exploration of social rules from the past in order to understand how they shape our behaviors today. Our trainers and tutors are etiquette and social rule gurus, and our students love attending their lectures, which are not only informative but also fun and packed with new skills.
- Our training covers a wide range of topics, including cultural differences, interpersonal skills, body language, remembering names and making conversation, telephone manners, presentation skills, entertaining etiquette, social and business etiquette, common-sense good manners, and consideration for others’ personal norms and values.
- Tip: One important aspect of etiquette that is often overlooked is the art of active listening. When engaging in conversation with others, it’s important to not only speak clearly and articulately but also to listen attentively to what the other person is saying. Active listening involves paying close attention to the speaker, asking clarifying questions, and responding thoughtfully to what has been said. By practicing active listening, you’ll not only make a great impression on others but also build stronger relationships and gain valuable insights into the perspectives of others.
Special areas of expertise
- In any Butler environment, there may be occasions when you’re expected to perform tasks such as lighting a cigar, decanting an expensive wine, or serving cognac. One area of expertise that is particularly important is the world of champagne and champagne service. At the Academy, we believe that it’s essential for our students to receive master classes from industry professionals who have worked at the likes of “Krug,” giving them first-hand product knowledge.
- Cape Town and Stellenbosch are the third-largest wine producers in the world, boasting award-winning wine, brandy, and Methode Cap Classique estates. Product knowledge is a key element of butler training, as it helps to define our butlers from the rest of the world. By having a deep understanding of the products they are working with, our butlers are better equipped to provide excellent service, make informed recommendations to their employers and guests, and elevate the overall experience. This expertise can set our butlers apart and help them stand out in the competitive field of butler service.
Cooking classes & knife skills
- At the Butler training program, we believe that cooking skills are an essential part of the butler’s skill set. We teach our students the importance of planning, confidence, and creativity in the kitchen. Our culinary program fine-tunes and expands our students’ cooking skills, and cooking classes are presented almost every day.
- We take a comprehensive approach to culinary training, covering local and international cuisine and giving our students the opportunity to create incredibly delicious dishes. Our program stays seasonal and tropical, and we cover a wide spectrum of food types and cooking methods. To provide the best possible training, we offer classes both at the Academy and at the prestigious Miele kitchen.
- Our students prepare basic dishes as well as more advanced dishes, and we teach them the importance of balancing food and pairing food with wine. Menu planning is a crucial part of our curriculum, and we train our students to create menus that are not only delicious but also aesthetically pleasing and well-balanced.
- Having excellent cooking skills can set our butlers apart and help them provide exceptional service to their employers and guests. By teaching our students these skills, we prepare them to excel in a highly competitive industry and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in their careers.
Concierge service & Valeting Skills
- At the Butler Academy, we believe that concierge services are a crucial aspect of a butler’s job. Our students receive extensive training in this area, including geography classes and language lessons in Russian, Chinese, French, and German. We recognize that international knowledge is imperative for providing exceptional service to clients from all over the world.
- To ensure that our students are fully equipped for the job, we provide them with tasks that they must present to the rest of the team during the course. This helps them to develop their confidence and public speaking skills, which are important for providing excellent service to clients.
- In addition to language and geography training, we teach our students the art of packing suitcases and taking care of clothing items such as shoes, ties, suits, and dresses. Understanding dress codes is also an essential part of concierge services, and we provide our students with the knowledge they need to help their clients look and feel their best.
- By focusing on concierge services, we prepare our students to provide exceptional service to clients from all over the world. Our students learn the importance of attention to detail, cultural sensitivity, and communication skills, which are essential for success in the butler profession.
Child Care and Au Pairing skills
- At the Butler Academy, we believe that children are the future, and we take our responsibility of caring for them very seriously. That’s why we offer a wide range of exciting and engaging activities for our little ones, including first aid lectures, child care and infant care classes, and even lessons on how to prepare healthy and delicious meals for kids.
- Our dedicated staff are passionate about creating a stimulating environment that promotes learning and development, and we understand that every child is unique, with their own set of skills and interests. That’s why we take the time to get to know each child individually, and tailor our approach to meet their needs.
- In addition to providing top-notch care and education, we also know that sometimes parents need a break. That’s where our butlers come in! Our butlers are not only trained in child care, but they also know how to create a fun and engaging atmosphere that kids will love. They understand how to interact with children of all ages, and are skilled at picking up on subtle cues and signals that can help them provide the best possible care.
- At the Butler Academy, we believe that every moment is a teachable moment, and we strive to create a nurturing environment where children can thrive. So whether it’s learning a new skill, making a new friend, or just having fun, we’re here to support and encourage our little ones every step of the way.
Pet and Animal Care
- At the Butler Academy, we believe in providing the highest level of care for all members of the household, including furry ones! That’s why we recognize the importance of pet care and offer training in this area as part of our comprehensive curriculum.
- We understand that pets are not just animals, but rather beloved members of the family. They bring joy, companionship, and unconditional love, and it’s our responsibility to ensure their well-being. That’s why we offer specialized courses in pet care, covering topics such as grooming, feeding, exercise, and even first aid.
- Our experienced instructors are passionate about animals and understand the unique needs and personalities of each pet. They will teach you how to create a safe and stimulating environment for your furry friend, and provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to care for them in a way that promotes their physical and emotional health.
- At the Butler Academy, we believe that pet care is not just a chore, but a privilege. We recognize the importance of forming strong bonds with our pets, and we strive to instill this same sense of responsibility and care in our students. We believe that a well-cared-for pet is a happy and healthy pet, and we’re dedicated to helping our students provide the best possible care for their furry family members.
- So whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or any other type of pet, we’ve got you covered. Let us help you become the best pet parent you can be, and give your furry friend the love and care they deserve!
Hotel Butler & Corporate Butler
- At the Butler Academy, we understand that the Hotel Butler represents the image and brand of the hotel. That’s why our training program places a strong emphasis on developing the five signature Hotel Butler skills, which are attention to detail, impeccable manners, anticipation and intuition, discretion, and exceptional service.
- During the program, our students will be required to present these signature services and understand the duties of a Hotel Butler. They will learn how to take care of several hotel guests at once, manage their schedules, and ensure that their every need is met with grace and efficiency.
- We recognize that the demands of the butler profession are constantly evolving, and that’s why we offer specialized training in corporate butling as well. This exciting new subject covers a wide range of skills, including setting up boardrooms, running errands, administrative skills, faxing and emailing for clients, setting up international conference calls, and designing guest profiles.
- We understand that the needs of corporate clients can be complex and demanding, and our training program is designed to help our students meet those needs with ease and professionalism. Whether you’re managing the schedules of busy executives, coordinating complex events and meetings, or providing top-notch administrative support, our corporate butling training will give you the skills and confidence you need to succeed.
- At the Butler Academy, we believe that success as a butler requires not only a mastery of traditional butler skills, but also a willingness to adapt and evolve in response to changing demands and trends. That’s why our comprehensive training program covers a wide range of topics, from traditional household management and etiquette to cutting-edge corporate butling and event planning. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to take your skills to the next level, we’re here to help you achieve your goals and succeed in the exciting and rewarding world of butling.
Security and Safety
- At the Butler Academy, we recognize that security and safety are essential skills for any butler, particularly those working in high net worth properties. That’s why our comprehensive curriculum includes training in these critical areas.
- We partner with industry-leading security experts, Global Intelligence, to provide specialized lectures as part of our security awareness and Butler self-maintenance class. Our students learn from real-world case studies, examining mistakes that butlers have made in the past to avoid making similar errors in the future.
- We teach our students how to create a safe and secure environment, how to avoid mishaps, and how to respond in difficult situations. We also provide training in risk management, emergency preparedness, and crisis management, ensuring that our graduates are well-equipped to handle any security or safety-related issues that may arise.
- Becoming a SABA Butler is an incredibly rewarding journey. As you near the end of your training, you’ll discover new skills and talents that you never knew you had. You’ll have the confidence and knowledge to manage complex households and estates, handle challenging guests and situations with ease, and provide exceptional service to even the most discerning clients.
- At the Butler Academy, we’re committed to helping our students achieve their full potential and become the best butlers they can be. With our comprehensive training program, you’ll gain the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to succeed in the dynamic and exciting world of butling.
Chauffeuring & Travel
- At the Butler Academy, we recognize the importance of safe and reliable transportation for our clients. That’s why we place a strong emphasis on chauffeur training as part of our comprehensive butler curriculum.
- During each training program, our students learn how to prepare vehicles for guests and clients and how to drive very expensive vehicles. We provide hands-on experience in driving and preparing vehicles as they would in a real butler environment, ensuring that our students are fully equipped to handle any transportation needs that may arise.
- In addition to chauffeur training, we also teach our students how to make travel arrangements and plan excursions, another important aspect of the butler role. Our students learn how to create detailed itineraries, arrange transportation, and handle any last-minute changes or requests that may arise.
- At the Butler Academy, we’re committed to providing our students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in every aspect of the butler role. With our comprehensive chauffeur and travel training, you’ll have the confidence and expertise to provide exceptional service and exceed the expectations of even the most discerning clients.
Employment & Interviews
- At the South African Butler Academy, we believe that finding employment after completing our comprehensive training program is essential for our students’ success. That’s why we take pride in working with a range of agencies, as well as our own recruitment division, Guild Recruitment International, to help our students secure their dream jobs.
- Special classes are presented by the recruitment team on a range of topics, including interviewing skills, demeanor, selling techniques, profiling, and key techniques on how to present oneself during an interview with a potential employer. Our recruitment team will present opportunities that are suited to each student’s individual preferences and career goals, ensuring that they find a role that’s both challenging and fulfilling.
- At the South African Butler Academy, we understand that being a successful butler is a unique gift that requires a combination of practical skills, knowledge, and personal qualities. That’s why we have a team of professional butlers with years of experience on hand to ensure that our students receive the best possible training and support.
- While the above highlights some of the topics covered in our training program, we cover many more practical skills to ensure that our students are fully prepared for any challenge that may arise in their future roles. Every day at the South African Butler Academy is different, exciting, and rewarding, and we’re confident that you’ll love the experience of our comprehensive training program.
Advance practical Butler training
If you’re considering enrolling at the South African Butler Academy, you can expect a comprehensive and exciting training program that will equip you with the skills and knowledge to become a successful butler.
Each day at the Academy is structured into three parts. The first part is the morning routine, which involves cleaning up and setting up for the day ahead. The second part is theory training, where you’ll learn culinary terminology and other important subjects from our handbook called the Butlers Compendium. This is followed by a practical session, where you’ll learn how to fold, iron, set tables, cook, mix cocktails, pack suitcases, and plan for the next day. We may also go on field trips or visit international brands in our Virtual Butler Studio, making the experience even more exciting.
Role-playing is an essential part of our training program and provides a fun and interactive way to learn. You’ll have the opportunity to practice being in charge of a large staff while also learning how to work under a demanding supervisor. We create real-life events and scenarios at the Academy, such as packing luncheons, serving drinks, afternoon tea ceremonies, and making appointments. This allows you to develop your teamwork and problem-solving skills in a practical setting.
Once you complete the Butler Academy training program, you’ll be proud of your accomplishments and know that you’ve received matchless quality training. However, if you’re interested in a shorter course without travel, we also offer a signature virtual butler course.
Click on the contact us page or Online Butler Training.