For $99 a month, your personal butler will fold your laundry, sort your mail, and deliver your items to the dry cleaner or post office, or be at your home to receive deliveries.
Imagine living as a middle-class family, with a middle-class income, and having a category in your household spending budget for “butler”.
Today, if you live in Boston or New York, you can have a butler for $99 a month.
The startup company Alfred, named after Batman’s lifelong butler, offers a service in which a person will come to your home to deal with all of the household chores that often torment the two-income family, or the single person working their way up the business ladder.
Once a week, “Alfred” offers in-home organizational services like folding laundry and sorting mail, but also serves as a concierge to arrange outside services that take time to set up, like grocery delivery, laundry pickup and delivery, and housecleaning. While the consumer pays for those services at a standard rate, Alfred arranges all of those services and is there to receive delivered items or let maids into the house.
Alfred will also come back a second time each week if needed, either to deliver items like dry cleaning or to accept deliveries.
The website asks the question “What if, at the end of a long day, you could come home to laundry done, neatly folded and stacked into drawers, mail sorted and packages waiting, fridge stocked with your favorite foods and drink, (and) your home exactly how you like it?”
Apparently, that is what Alfred can do for you.
Former Harvard Business School mates Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck created the idea of Alfred for a school project, but then realized it had real business potential and left school to pursue the household spending concept.
“It’s a really good service for parents who work and are juggling a family,’’ Sappone told CNN Money, “and for young professionals putting in a lot of hours (or) entrepreneurs who are busy trying to launch what they are passionate about.”
Alfred won a $50,000 prize at the TechCrunch Disrupt competition in San Francisco this year, and has received $2 million in funding to spread the household service to other locations and create an app for reach more customers.
The people who work for the company, who are called “Alfreds”, are screened by the company and undergo five interviews before they are hired. The company has almost 100 full-time Alfreds on staff, and they are paid a starting wage of $18 an hour, plus benefits to those who work 30 hours a week.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.