Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Butlers in the Buff – Bare Bottomed Waiters for Your Next Cocktail Party

January 26th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Here’s a crack-up concept: a “Male-order” company, Butlers in the Buff, has just hit Southeast Florida, and provides butlers for parties – in the buff.

The buffed and tone gents aren’t completely in the buff – they sport black tie collars, cuffs, and a tidy little apron. Sometimes, underwear, but most often, they’re bare-bottomed.

The Butlers in the Buff program comes to us from that cheeky country, Great Britain, where it’s OK to show your arse once in a while for fun.

Now, it’s a business and it’s spreading to other countries.

“Back in the U.K., I had arranged my best friend’s bachelorette party and hired a guy to butler in the buff. It was a great ice breaker for all the people there who didn’t know one another – great fun. Then I moved to the U.S. and couldn’t find anything like this here. There were plenty of things for the gents, but nothing for the ladies,” said Alexandra Jones, Florida franchise owner for BITB, as it’s shorthanded. “I was looking for something to do, so I bought the franchise here.”

It began in 2001 in the U.S., but has just launched in Florida.

The mother of two, originally from Birmingham, England, and now living in Bradenton, Fla., says it’s already a success. “We just did a party and the butler modeled jewelry for the hostess for her jewelry party,” she said. “She loved it.”

No touching – no butts about it

There are strict rules hosts must follow – contracts to be signed, actually. “We have a no-touching policy,” Jones said. But they can serve drinks and food (though they’re not “silver service” waiters), maybe join in karaoke and shake cocktails. No extra hours allowed, either – time’s up when your contract says so. They’re $100 an hour, 2-hour minimum and travel pay is extra.

The butler shows up attired in either black or colored cuffs, tie and short but “serviceable” apron. A full-length apron is required if he’s asked to barbecue, for ah, safety reasons. “If requested, they’ll wear underwear beneath the apron,” Jones said. “Some (hostesses) ask for it, but not often.”

Guests are allowed to put an arm around the butlers for photos, but no other touching is permitted, Jones says. “They’ll do a lot of things, but aren’t really performers. They don’t dance. They might sing if asked, or join in karaoke.”

For parties, weddings and even funerals

The boyfriends of those gals who hire them are good sports, she said. “We have had butlers hired for lots of parties – especially bachelorettes. One groom found out the butler’s name from the party and surprised his bride by hiring him to wait tables at their reception. It was a complete surprise – the bride loved it.”

Just recently in the U.K., someone hired a Butler in the Buff for a funeral. “I didn’t ask,” Jones says of the affair.

Choosing the right butt-ler

The men are trained – especially in how to bend to pick up something from the floor. “It wouldn’t be a pretty sight otherwise,” Jones said. They learned to make cocktails, serve Champagne, drinks and foods and even “tidy up.”

It’s more than just physical “assets” they’re looking for in a butler for the program, though looks – not necessarily behinds – are important, she said.

“Most important is their personality. We don’t want guys who think they’re doing you a favor by taking off their clothes and looking good. There are a lot of good-looking, fit guys – we want those who can be charming at a party and interact with the guests.”

Most candidates are college guys, looking for extra money; ages range generally from 21 to 35. What about the senior set prevalent on this coast? “We might consider some silver foxes, we’ll have to look into that,” she said, laughing.

Hiring here

There are three to five Butlers hired for each city. Casting call for the Palm Beaches is Thursday night, Jan. 27, and women are invited to go and vote for their favorites. Aspiring Butlers in the Buff can go to the special web site to apply. Women can RSVP to attend the casting call event, 7-11 p.m. at Il Bacio, 29. S.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach, by calling 561-750-3500, or emailing events@thegabgroup.com

Tags: Today in the World of Food · What's Happening Here

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ken Steinhoff // Jan 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I see that you have, for once, run a photo large. So large, in fact, that it’s overflowing the sidebar on the right.

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