The only maid cafes I've even seen or been in are ones at cons and I'd have to think they're a bit different than dedicated ones in Japan. Not all of them are the same, but to me, there's just something awkward about them that I honestly find a bit off-putting as well as the stores I've heard from friends and other con goers.
They are way different; I used to work at a con maid cafe, and I went to a Maidreamin cafe when I visited Japan--one's an actual business establishment, the other is not.
Con maids are not given a salary, while actual maid cafe employees in Japan are, so obviously the incentive is different. And given that most con maids are fujoshi and usually not given proper training, they are super awkward as well. The actual maid employees in Japan have to be social, honestly one of their requisites.
Do the ones in Japan cater to foreigners?
Not really... If you're lucky, you can find one maid able to speak English conversationally, but for the most part, no.
I spoke to the maids in Japanese, so I didn't have to go through the trouble that most gaijin would have.
Sure, I mean why not?
@Home Cafe in Akihabara is popular.
I went there!! It was amazing!
but really fun!
The maids are really friendly, and you have to 'bless your food' with 'Moe moe KYUUUUNNN~ <3' before you eat it. :3
The maids can also speak in English, but I was fine with them speaking japanese.
In fact, one of the maids I saw there was a gaijin!
Putting my input in, I'm actually one of the owners of Mochi Cafe. Con cafes have to do a lot of adjustments to be able to even operate in the US to be completely honest, while we would LIKE to be able to operate like a normal maid cafe in japan, it's just not financially a possibly [take chou anime maid cafe as an example, they couldn't get a regular crowd to stay open]. Though there are some cafes that run like ours, where yes we do run operations at cons, but we are also non profit educational, meaning we do school visits and teach about the subculture of Japan and are regularly invited to cultural festivals to perform.
When you guys plan on attending a con cafe, try not to set your expectations to high, as they are very limited by the venue, and the con staffs willingness to help with funding and even giving them the room and means to put on their event, our group is just lucky that we've worked with the same con staffers in our 6 year long run. However I do feel that everyone should experience a con cafe at least once in their life, try not to let others really influence your decision. <3
Weird cafes in general are popular in Japan not just maid cafes, I think everyone goes there not just otaku
There's a tsundere cafe too :P "I-it's not like I want you to come again or anything..."
Hells yeah I would go! ^_^ It would be so much fun!