When was the last time a maid asked you, “Do you want fries with that?”
Well, maybe don’t answer—but that’s what you’d be getting at McDonald’s Taipei on NYE. The fast-food location has been transformed into a temporary maid cafe, where customers are greeted by girls in anime-style maid costumes. The servers address them as master, and hand over food saying, “Master, I have finished preparing your order.”
While the maids’ behavior and attire are officially sanctioned by McDonald’s Taiwan, they aren’t just for kicks and giggles. Throughout Taiwan, McDonald’s branches are competing against each other as maid cafe on NYE. (The Taipei location seems to have tested their maid style out before the actual competition on Dec 24th). Between today and New Year’s Eve, each branch will serve customers in the maid cafe style and whichever location has the most sales on that day wins. We hope they win different clothes for those girls to wear.
Now, if this whole maid thing gives you the heebie-jeebies: 1. You are not alone 2. Calm down. 3. According to Satoshi Yoshimura, who owns Made Cafe New York in Chinatown, this sort of thing isn’t as creepy or porn-y as some Americans may think. The “master” references are seen in maid culture as simply a mark of high service, creating an atmosphere where customers can kick back, relax, and have people politely bring them stuff.
Yoshimura calls maid cafes a mix of “hospitality and fantasy.” The maid cafe concept started in Japan, attracting gamers who spread the word online and launched maid cafes into international popularity. And popular they are—videos of McDonald’s Taipei, like the one above, are popping up online, and lines are sure to be long for that New Year’s Eve service.