The Art of Welcoming and Butlers
A couple months back, I had a discussion with Robert Mauchamp, founder of ‘Association des Majordomes d’Europe et Personnel de Maison’ (Association of European Butlers and Domestic Personnel) and the distinction ’Excellence In Butlers Services’. We engaged in a fascinating discussion, and I wanted to shed the spotlight on this profession over the course of several articles on my site DECODING THE LUXURY HOTEL INDUSTRY. After all, no hotel can truly claim to be luxurious without a butler on hand.
Robert Mauchamp boasts more than 20 years of experience in the world of restaurants, hotels, and training. Having worked in the past for the Compagnie du Ponant, he currently serves as butler in St Tropez.
I leave you to discover his take on the French art of welcoming, as well as his presentation of AMEPM.
The French Art of Welcoming, According to Robert Mauchamp
Welcoming ’à la française’ is an art but also a value. We hold the responsibility of promoting our expertise. The butler must, above all, represent this art through his professional, hands-on, and intellectual knowledge; he has to be able to represent all the professions related to French expertise in the world of welcoming, gastronomy, tableware, remain fluent in protocols, etc…he must be proud to represent our heritage and bring it to its highest standards.
In the spirit of the French art of welcoming, it is our duty to concoct unique and exceptional experiences, dreams, joy, and pleasure. We are there to allow them to live out this experience of the French art of welcoming.
You founded the ‘Association des Majordomes d’Europe & Personnel de maison’ (Association of European Butlers and Domestic Personnel). Why and in what ways is it helpful for butlers? What are the values that you uphold?
AMEPM was founded for the express purpose of recognizing our profession be known, but also protecting it. It is helpful for butlers, it’s a platform for help, for listening, a network of connections for providers, job postings, trainings. It is a network that, I hope, will grow steadily.
Our non-profit association is there for them and also for Palaces, hotels, private residences, and yachts that are in search of excellence. We have already developed many partnerships, and we are of course always in search of many more partners and members.
Our values come down to expertise and know-how (professionalism, rigor, knowledge). Becoming a butler is not open to everyone, and I think that this message must come through. There are enormous numbers of new schools designed to train butlers everywhere without real prospects at the end.
It’s necessary to be able to benefit from a training program that is long-term, strict, and firm. The financial aspects cannot be the only things motivating schools to create butler training programs. They have to, above all, insist on the quality of their teaching. They have to train them well, guide them, protect them, advise them, and above all, help them find a position that will suit them. Let’s not pretend they’re glistening with extravagant salaries—this is far from the truth.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.