How Much Is a Butler Worth to You?

ButlerRecently I read an article by Fast Company writer Sarah Kessler about the idea of personal butlers. The idea is completely foreign to me, but I found it quite intriguing.

There is a company in New York called Alfred Club that provides a butler service. It’s a little different than the traditional idea of a butler; as the company says, their service provides “a butler that doesn’t have to live in your home.” He or she simply coordinates (and personally performs) your errands and chores.

The article lists a few of the things that your Alfred butler will do for you for $25 a week:

  • coordinate your grocery shopping and put your groceries away
  • coordinate your laundry and put it in your closet
  • hire a dog walker
  • send flowers to your loved ones
  • hire a handymen (plumbers, electricians, etc) to fix things

Alfred’s service kind of sounds like a personal assistant for your life. The butler isn’t actually doing the laundry or your grocery shopping–you still have to pay for those services separately (apparently this is more common in New York than it is here–the author didn’t seem to bat an eye at the idea of a weekly laundry service costing $54).

The thing that makes Alfred’s service work is that their butlers have a key to your house/apartment/condo. They know when you’re at work, and they make sure that all  your errands are taken care of before you come home. That said, it might be weird for a complete stranger to have a set of keys.

I’m not quite sure what I think about this service. On one hand, given that my love language is acts of service, the idea of someone saving me time by running my errands is extremely valuable to me. It’s probably a more effective use of my time to be working rather than out grocery shopping.

But on the flip side, it’s probably good for me to use those types of errands to get out of the house. My situation is unique because I work at home (well, not that unique–plenty of people work from home), but perhaps Alfred is better suited to those who work at an office. For people like that, they probably don’t want to spend a few hours a week running errands and doing laundry–they just want to come home and relax or spend time with their friends and family. $25 to save you 2-3 hours a week? That might be worth it.

What do you think? How much would you pay for this type of butler service for your life?

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