“ส่วนใหญ่มาเป็นน้องเมดกันเพราะอยากมีประสบการณ์ที่แปลกใหม่ค่ะ เพราะ Maidreamin เป็นร้านที่มีความน่ารัก บริการที่แตกต่างจากคาเฟ่อื่น และที่ร้านสอนให้ทำงานเป็นระบบด้วยค่ะ การทำงานที่นี่เลยเป็นแบบ team work ทำให้สนุกสนาน อยากมาทำงานทุกวันเลย และน้องเมดของ Maidreamin จะได้ประสบการณ์การแสดงด้วยค่ะ เพราะได้เป็นทั้ง MC แสดง Live Show และได้ทำอะไรหลายอย่างที่ไม่เคยทำมาก่อน ซึ่งแตกต่างจากร้านอาหารอื่นๆ ค่ะ”
“Irashaimase!” Step into Maidreamin Land, a whimsical realm of maid enchantment and laughter! On days when weariness and worries cloud your horizon, what could be more perfect than retreating to a world brimming with endearing hosts and mouthwatering treats? This fantastical haven is none other than Maidreamin, the premier maid café hailing from Japan.
But what exactly is a maid café? How does it operate? Are there any key pointers to bear in mind before your visit? Look no further, as this article unveils all the insights you need.
What’s a maid café, anyway?
A “maid café” is a specific type of café where the concept revolves around the staff, known as “maids” (commonly referred to as “nong maid” in Thailand), donning frilly apron dresses and taking on the role of pampering and entertaining the customers. Inside these cafés, which are beautifully decorated to create a dreamy atmosphere, the moment you step in, you are greeted as “master” or “lady” by the maids. Each person is welcomed and treated with a special touch, as if they were truly the master or mistress of the little maids themselves.
Maid cafes have gained immense popularity, especially in Japan, particularly in the Akihabara district, a hub of anime and manga culture. Even in Thailand, there are maid cafes that have expanded their operations from Japan. One prominent example is Maidreamin, which currently has three branches in Thailand: at MBK Center on floors 2 and 7, as well as a branch in Thonglor, Sukhumvit Soi 53.
Maidreamin’s maid staff also have their own fandom
Despite being viewed as servers from an outsider’s perspective, in reality, they have an additional role to play as maids. They are akin to the “idols” of the café world. Almost all of the maid staff can sing and dance, allowing them to perform on stage whenever guests order special menu items. This serves as an entertaining alternative to simply saying “thank you.” Particularly in the branches in Japan, top-ranking maids are treated almost like idols themselves. They participate in music videos for the café's theme songs, have official merchandise for their fans, and sometimes even have hundreds of thousands of followers. They are even granted the privilege to organize their own events.
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Within a maid café, “rankings” or “ranking system” refers to the assessment of each maid’s performance and abilities. It starts from “Trainee,” “Regular,” “Master,” “Master Management,” to “Leader.” These rankings are determined based on the results of tests at each level. Once a maid advances to the next rank, she unlocks specific “items” that can only be worn at that rank. These items often include headbands, bows, and aprons, among others. You can easily distinguish the different ranks when you encounter several maids within the café. Importantly, each rank comes with varying responsibilities, but all staff share the common duty of customer service.
Step into the Maidreamin wonderland! Many of those who haven’t been to a maid café might wonder what it’s like inside. What’s special about it? Do you have to do anything particular when you go in? Our EQ team decided to explore the newly opened Maidreamin branch on the 2nd floor of MBK, so that everyone can get a glimpse of what it’s all about.
The branch on the 2nd floor stands out with its unique vibe compared to the other locations. The ambiance here is more laid-back and casual. You won’t find an overwhelming amount of cute decorations and pink hues like in the typical maid cafés. However, the essence of the maid café experience remains intact, thanks to the impeccable service delivered by the maids. As you step in, each maid will turn to warmly welcome you with a genuine and cheerful greeting before showing you to an available table.
Upon entering, the maids bring over a small heart-shaped lamp in pink and lead you to your table. They invite everyone to count down together before turning on the light. After that, you and your friend will get cat ear headbands and the café’s menu. When you’re ready to order food and drinks, you’ll need to do the cat paw gesture and say “Nyan, Nyan.” Otherwise, the maids won’t know you're trying to get their attention. Once the maids come to your table, you can place your orders.
Apart from the food menu, there are also other things you can choose, like taking a photo with the maid (Cheki), a cute card with the maid’s picture, and a cheering wand for when the maids perform on the stage. You can spot the stage on one side of the café, where everyone can see it.
While you wait for your food, the maids won’t let you feel alone (so no need to worry if you’re coming solo). They’ll come over for a friendly chat, asking about general stuff. Initially, you might feel a bit nervous or unsure, but their relaxed and approachable manner will help you ease into it and truly enjoy the experience.
And then comes the highlight of the maid café experience when your food is served to the table. If you’ve ordered dishes like omelette rice, the maids will creatively pour ketchup into various shapes you request. Once it’s done, they'll do a cute little dance together. It’s all in good fun and you just need a bit of courage to participate in the hand movements alongside the maids and “Oishi kunare moe moe bimu!” (“make this food taste delicious!”) before waving your hand to enhance the flavor of the dish. At the beginning, it might feel a little awkward, but as you give it a shot more times, those initial jitters tend to ease off in the relaxed and fun vibe of the café.
Apart from the impressive service, the food, drinks, and desserts also taste delicious. Plus, you can cozy up in the cafe’s comfy chairs. Once you’ve finished eating or when “dream time” (the time you can stay inside the cafe) is up, the maid servers come around again to bid you farewell with a little performance. They clear the dishes, bring the bill, and escort you out of the Maidreamin Land. If it’s your first time visiting, you’ll receive a “Dreamin Passport,” granting you another entry into this imaginative world to enjoy live performances from the maids.
A quick chat with a maid
Wondering about the qualities that make a great maid? And as a guest, are there do’s and don’ts when interacting with them? We’ve asked the Maidreamin maids these very questions to provide you with the answers you seek.
What qualities should a maid have?
“Being a maid involves having a clear sense of character, being unique, confident, and staying true to oneself, as everyone possesses their own inner beauty and charm.”
And what’s the most important quality?
“Having a service mind. Every maid wants to bring happiness to both our guests and themselves. This is the fundamental quality.”
Is it necessary for maids to be “moé”? Can a maid be cool?
“We believe that everyone has their own beauty and cuteness in their own way. Each person’s character is unique and we try to maintain a joyful and bright spirit, always ready to serve.”
Why did you decide to become a maid? “Most of us become maids because we want a unique experience. Maidreamin offers cute and distinctive service, unlike other cafes. They teach us to work together as a team, making it really fun. I look forward to coming in every day. Being a Maidreamin maid also gives us the chance to gain performance experience, like being MCs and participating in live shows. It’s different from other places, which makes it exciting.”
How is the training for becoming a maid? What are some things that are not allowed?
The training for becoming a maid includes both theoretical and practical training before working at the actual cafe. There are certain things that are not allowed, such as discussing personal life matters. Even our real names are not allowed to be shared with the guests; we only use the fictional names we have at the cafe. Maidreamin creates a fantasy realm, so everything feels like it’s in a dream world.”
Who are the main customers?
“The main customers are often families, students, anime enthusiasts, and people who enjoy anime. There are also many female customers, as they love taking cute photos. We offer maid costume rentals for customers to wear and take pictures in.”
What are the cafe’s popular menu items?
“Guests often go for the cute and charming menu items that come with special twists. There are dishes where the maids artfully craft sauce designs, and then there’s the mega-sized meal that comes with an intriguing offer: it extends your ‘Dream Time’ by an extra 30 minutes for free. Plus, you can take candid photos with the maids all around the café, it’s meant for 3-4 people, and the maids team up to add a magical touch and make the Giant Meal even more yummy.”
How do you break the ice, especially with shy customers?
“We make it a point to kickstart light and enjoyable conversations to help guests unwind, gently introducing various activities to create a laid-back atmosphere. But it’s all easy-going; there’s no pressure, and everything happens organically.”
What happens if customers personally know one of the maids?
“Given that the entire café revolves around creating a dreamy atmosphere, even when someone familiar visits, we stay true to our maid personas. We would address them as 'master' or 'lady' to keep that magical charm alive.”
Do’s and Dont’s at Maidreamin
While you're in the café, put on the cat ears.
Say “Nyan Nyan” and strike a cat-like pose when calling a maid.
Perform the magic gesture when a maid invites you to do so, to enhance the flavor of the food.
Note: The maids won't ask you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. But if you decide to give it a try, both of you will have a rewarding maid cafe experience.
Refrain from taking photos and videos while the maids are working. They want to provide you and your companion with their full attention. If you’d like to take pictures, they offer a service with a Polaroid camera, and the maids will sign their cute autographs as a keepsake. You can also use your own mobile phone for photos, but there’s a small service fee for that.
Avoid making loud noises or dancing, as it could disturb both you and the nearby tables.
Refrain from offering personal tips or gifts to the maids.
The maids’ personal contact information, including phone numbers, is not to be requested.
Conversations should not involve real-world personal matters with the maids, such as their real names, schools, or addresses.
What lessons have you gained from your experience working as a maid?
“I’m really proud to be a maid because it brings me so much joy and fun. We’re all about creating those good vibes, making people laugh, and putting smiles on their faces. And being a part of that is just awesome, honestly. Working here has also taught me a lot about being adaptable, strong, and ready to handle whatever comes our way. And meeting all sorts of customers, from different walks of life, ages, and jobs, it’s been a cool learning experience. It’s taught me how to spread happiness to everyone, no matter where they’re coming from."