China: Butler school opens to meet super-rich demand

Generic image of a butler

So many people are becoming millionaires in China that a butler academy is opening to churn out the staff to wait on them, it's reported.

Recent years have seen thousands of British and European butlers find work in wealthy foreign households, with China among the top customers. But demand is such that a Dutch academy is reportedly opening a branch in Chengdu, the capital of the southern Sichuan province. International Butler Academy chairman Robert Wennekes tells Hong Kong's South China Morning Post that the school hopes to "cultivate a culture of service" in a country that, he says, now appreciates "the finer points of presentation".

"New millionaires are made every day in China. And when they have a large villa with elaborate decoration and marble flooring, they need someone who knows what they are doing", Wennekes is quoted as saying. The branch will apparently have its own curriculum, which will be taught by local instructors in the native language. Some of China's super-rich insist on importing butlers from the West, the report notes, citing one mainland company which recently requested 15 Western staff. But Wennekes, it seems, reckons native butlers will better understand Chinese bosses.

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