“I came up with the idea as a penniless student,” says Didcott. “I used to be in the marines, so I kept myself fit. It was supposed to be a little earner on the side, but hiring myself out as a “butler in the buff” turned out to be more successful than I’d ever imagined.”
Pretty soon, Didcott had to recruit four other “butlers” to keep up with demand, and in 2003, the firm was officially launched. Fellow director William Jones was one of the original team, though both he and Didcott have alas, hung up their aprons.
Butlers in the Buff is now the largest supplier of “scantily-clad hunky butlers” in the UK. The company pulled in a turnover of £350,000 last year, but revenues this year will be over half a million.
The company caters to a number of clients, from hen nights to bar openings with 30 per cent of turnover coming in through corporate events.
“Butlers in the Buff are naughty, cheeky and fun,” says Didcott. “But we’re careful not to be smutty. Butlers are never nude. At the very least they have their aprons, collar and cuffs.”
There is a strict code of conduct to make sure that the company name remains unblemished. “Butlers are not allowed to hang around after events,” says Didcott. “And if a party gets too wild, we will approach the client and say, ‘If you don’t tone this down, I’m afraid we will have to leave’. That usually does the trick.”
This code of conduct ensures that the firm only attracts high-end clients. Premium prices also help to cut out undesirable clientele. Butlers cost between £65-75 per hour and prices drop to around £45 for group bookings.
Net profits at the company stand at 20 per cent.