Editorial Board   

Prof. Ferry

Steven Ferry

Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers

Steven Ferry was born and raised in England, where he worked in education, hospitality, and private service before moving to the USA to continue in private service—during which time, in 1990, he established the first international butler association, The International Association of Traditional Butlers, and wrote the first modern book for the profession, The British Butler's Bible.

Prof. Ferry took a break from service in the mid-90's to focus on his other passions, establishing an award-winning photographic and writing company that produced a wide range of educational, PR, marketing, editorial and fictional products for most major US publishers and many corporations, including authoring 20 books and hundreds of articles. At the turn of the century, he found himself being asked to consult and train, first in the private sector and then in hospitality, based on publication of three books on butling.

At the request of peers, he founded the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2004 to set and raise standards for the profession. He championed bringing the butler profession into the international community of the 21st Century and bringing the role to life, at a time when it was entrenched in tradition and being an object of interest as opposed to a vital force that could greatly expand service offerings in all service industries, hospitality in particular.

Professor Ferry is author of best-selling texts, such as the two-volume Serving the Wealthy  and Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators. He has helped introduce several innovations and new services to the hospitality industry, including the hotel-butler rating system, the spa butler, and an international black-book database of guests from hell. He currently advocates for the profession, and, together with the Institute staff, trains butlers and other employees in luxury hotels and resorts, private villas and estates, and other service industries around the world, specializing in uniquely effective soft-skill training that builds relationships with guests, as well as bringing fresh and astute perspectives to the challenges of hospitality management.

Prof. Ferry can be contacted at 813-354-2734 or stevenferry@modernbutlers.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.