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Maid Cafés are cosplay restaurants found primarily in Japan in which the female staff are dressed as servants, traditionally in french maid garb, and treat customers as though they were their masters or mistresses.
The first Maid Café was the Cure Maid Café on Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, and was established in March of 2001. There, young, innocent-looking Japanese girls cosplay as maids, usually with a typical french-maid costume, and appeal to otaku clientele with a moe preference.
The staff treat their clientele as their masters or mistresses, and offer a variety of services, including ear-cleaning, massages, and other grooming services in addition to food service and karaoke. As the concept grew more popular, various maid cafés have employed different themes, making them popular among couples, tourists, and women as well. Customers are not allowed to touch or ask personal information of the staff so as not to break the cosplay.
While it is typically against the rules to take photos inside maid cafés, some videos have been posted to YouTube allowing a glimpse into the experience. On March 7th, 2015, intlschoolnet posted a video of the experience inside a maid café that gained over 500,000 views (shown below, left). On February 28th, 2016, BuzzfeedBlue posted a video where they talked to workers at the maid café and discussed the concept, gaining over 4.5 million views (shown below, right). In the video, the workers make clear that what they are doing is not sex work, which is sometimes the public perception of the maid café.
Ignored At The Maid Café
In September of 2017, Tumblr user shitpost-senpai wrote a text post that read, "At a maid cafe now and it’s dogshit. They don’t talk to me or anything. It’s just shit tier service with added dd/LG bullshit before I have my coffee." (Ed note: dd/LG is short for Daddy Dom/Little Girl, a fetish which involves girls acting like misbehaving young girls and the men acting like their disciplinary father). The post gained over 1,800 notes.
Because this is not typical behavior for a maid café, where customers are supposed to be doted upon, Tumblr users took to mocking this post as evidence that shitpost-senpai was unable to talk to girls even when he paid them to do so. Meme Documentation  notes that it was later revealed in a since-deleted post that shitpost-senpai had paid 500 yen, or about $4.50 American dollars, which added to the hilarity of his plight. This led to a series of jokes on Tumblr about shitpost-senpai's story that grew popular. For example, a post that said his story sounded like a Seinfeld plot gained over 14,000 notes (shown below, left). A Distracted Boyfriend edit created by millennialfirebird gained over 600 notes (shown below, right).