Customers pampered at Manila's first "maid cafe"

Sun Feb 6, 2011 11:37pm EST
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By Peter Blaza

MANILA (Reuters Life!) - Waitresses in frilly French maid costumes, some with elaborate blonde ringlets tumbling down their shoulders, serve coffee and tea, pampering customers at Manila's first "maid cafe."

The recently-opened cafe in capital Manila, also a Philippines first, hopes to cash in on the growing popularity of "cosplay" or costume play among Filipinos, in which participants dress up as favorite characters from anime or manga comics to indulge in a little escapist fantasy.

The trend originated in Japan, where maid cafes -- a subset of cosplay restaurants -- have been around for over a decade.

In "Meidolls," the Manila cafe, waitresses dress as anime-inspired French maids, complete with wigs with long tresses, dresses and pinafores. Some wear cat or rabbit ears with their outfits, while others sport pink hair.

The waitresses treat their patrons as masters and mistresses, acting like servants in a private home.

"I guess that's what we all want once in a while after a busy day of work or busy day at school. You wanna just, you know, lie back and be served by your own servants," said Reia Ayunan, owner of Meidolls.

Ayunan added that since Filipinos are naturally passionate and hospitable to guests, this combines perfectly with the idea of service required in a maid cafe.

Maid cafe waitresses are required to engage with their customers, making sure they feel at home.   Continued...