Cheeky butler service seeks a few good, buff men

Healthiest city designations, bike lanes everywhere and yoga out the wazoo — despite all this, Vancouver is seemingly in the midst of a muscle man shortage.

This revelation comes from the company known as Butlers in the Buff, a self-described “male order” firm on the lookout for “attractive, buff men” predominantly between the ages of 22 and 34.

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The tasks expected of those manly millennials includes serving and mixing drinks, delivering appies and playing “party games” at bachelorette soirees, bridal showers, divorce parties and the like.

Somewhat mercifully, no stripping or dancing is required from prospective applicants, and online auditions via Skype begin Friday, Jan. 20.

“It’s quite flexible work,” company co-director Jennifer Didcott told the Courier. “We have a lot of guys who are students or they’re travelling, so they’re kind of dipping in and dipping out. We need to beef up our team here.”

Beef up, indeed. Around 12 butlers are out there busting their humps now, and at least 24 more are needed.

The work typically falls on Friday and Saturday nights, and butlers make $50 an hour, plus tips. Some travel costs are also covered, though not all things covered are created equally.

Take the butler’s outfit, for example: a “bottom revealing” apron, white collar and cuffs and a bow tie. To that end, it stands to reason that applicants need to be in shape. Personality and charisma are also on the list.

Chiselled, six-pack abs are a plus.

“We’re looking for problem solvers. Every party is different and you’ve got to think on your feet,” Didcott said. “And they do have to look after themselves physically because the uniform leaves just a little bit to the imagination — they are quite scantily-clad guys.”

The butler bio dates back 15 years. The company started in the U.K. at that time, when Didcott ditched her previous gig as a high school drama teacher.

The butler business moved to North American shores just over four years ago and is in 16 U.S. states and nine Canadian cities, including Victoria, Kelowna and Whistler. Didcott co-directs the business with her husband, Jason, who happens to be the original butler from the U.K.

Didcott said many of the butlers take on the job to help pay for school. She’s had paramedics and firefighters in her ranks, and others from the financial sector.

One butler in the U.S. successfully shook his money maker to the point of paying his way through dental school, Didcott said. 

“Girls love this service just because it’s cheeky, it doesn’t go too over the top like some of the other male entertainment options,” she said.

Party games aside, Didcott acknowledged that her company has faced allegations of sexism in the past.

“We do get that a little bit, but we just keep it light — it’s a [gas],” she said. “I’m sure anyone who understands British humour, they get the cheeky, titillating aspect of it. These guys are there out of their own free will, and girls love their service because it’s just enough. We keep it classy. It’s light-hearted, good fun. There is nothing untoward about it.”

Would-be butlers looking for some extra bucks are asked to email booking@butlersinthebuff.com to line up an audition.

jkurucz@vancourier.com

@JohnKurucz

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