Ai My Maid reveals all about maid cafes and what sets them apart from the rest!
How did Ai My Maid form?
Five of our maids/butlers actually knew each other from working together at another maid cafe. Sometime after leaving we decided to form our own maid cafe with the help of a few of our friends, and before we knew it, Ai My Maid was born ＼( ^o)( ^ 0 ^ )(o^ )／ I think the fact that each of us were indeed already friends with at least one or more maids/butlers before joining AMM is important, as I personally think it’s a lot more fun working with people you know and are comfortable with (at least when first starting up) (｀・ω・´) That’s one of our main priorities, Ai My Maid has to be fun. Not just for our goshujin-sama and ojou-sama (masters and mistresses) but also for all our staff members too. If it stops being enjoyable then it means something is wrong and that will no doubt show in the quality of service （；へ：）
Where did the name Ai My Maid come from?
The name was actually inspired by the words “I, My, Me” which appear in numerous songs and stories such as the manga ‘I, My, Me’, the 4minute song ‘I My Me Mine’ and as one of our ojou-sama pointed out, Kanon’s song ‘I My Me Idol’. The main source of inspiration though was the anime ‘I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs’ which is about an aspiring teacher who is turned down for a job due to his gender (゜´Д｀゜) To get around this he disguises himself as a woman in order to work at the school (the story of this show has no relation to Ai My Maid whatsoever *cough* The name of the show just happened to pop into one of our heads) (＾▽＾;))
We had already decided on the more traditional Japanese and Miko (priestess) theme for our cafe before we agreed on a name so we changed the I to Ai 愛 (Japanese for Love) to fit better with this theme and because it is such a positive word. For instance although it doesn’t quite work if using the Japanese, when you change ‘Ai’ to ‘Love’ and ‘Me’ to ‘Maid’ to become ‘Love My Maid’ it makes perfect sense ლ(́◉◞౪◟◉‵ლ) The word Love (and even the 愛 kanji) also linked very well with what would later become our heart shaped logo ♥（ﾉ´∀`）
We came up with several other possible names too, such as ‘Unmeido’ which is a fusion of Unmei 運命 (Japanese for fate/destiny. The Un means fortune/luck which suited the Miko theme) and meido/maid. We didn’t go with this name as it didn’t roll off the tongue as nicely as Ai My Maid （＾⊆＾）Multiple variations of Ai My Maid were also considered, for example: Ai My Maiden, I My Maid and Ai Mai Maid. In the end we decided on a name that was simple to pronounce, was relatively short and yet maintained a sense of meaning/identity
What makes you different from other existing maid cafes?
Our more traditional Japanese and Miko theme is probably the most striking difference as there are no other similar themed cafes in England to my knowledge, even worldwide this type of theme is harder to find (◎-◎；) As a new cafe it was important for us to stand out from the crowd and the theme definitely helped in achieving that （＾ω＾）
Another differentiating factor is harder to tell just by looking, but compared to existing maid cafes we wanted our maids/butlers to feel more ‘real’, they’re definitely not figments of your imagination! ヽ(*´Д｀*)ﾉ What I mean is that the people we hire are those who have great personalities already so we won’t be giving them acting lessons or telling them to act like someone they’re not. Instead what you might get is an exaggerated version of their true personality. We found that often if a person is forcing a fake persona it can be a little confusing or distancing especially for new customers. We think the best maids/butlers are those who are comfortable with being who they are. They are people you can relate to and converse naturally with, which is why their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and so on are all true (the only exception is with their most personal details, we won’t be giving anyone those so please do not ask (＠O＠)). I guess ultimately we’ll have to leave it to our customers to decide if we were right to try and differentiate in this way (>_<)
You are launching your first event at London Anime Convention, what have you got instore for us?
You will have to wait and see, goshujin-sama and ojou-sama （*＾ワ＾*）Since this will be our first maid cafe event we’ll be making sure we pull out all the stops in order to offer the best maid cafe experience we can! We want to treat every event like it’s our last so we don’t waste anything or take it for granted. What I will gladly mention is that the cafe area we’ve been given has an extremely nice atmosphere which I’m sure everyone will appreciate. Many thanks to Anime League-sama and Rocket Complex-sama for giving us this opportunity ＼(*T▽T*)／
What delicacies will you be serving up for us?
Unfortunately we will have to wait until closer to the event to announce our menu, however I’m hopeful it will cater to everyone’s tastes. We’ve had a lot of fun looking for the most interesting things to put on the menu. If anyone has seen/read the series Toriko they’ll have an idea of how we felt when assembling it. Some things you just know will be perfect for a maid cafe menu as soon as you see and taste them (ᅌᴗᅌ* ) I should mention though that due to some food restrictions we won’t be able to put everything we want on the menu at LAC, but rest assured what we do put will be delicious. One complaint we often see about maid cafes around the world is that the food just isn’t up to scratch considering the usually high price, so we hope we can rectify this d=(´▽｀)=b
To those who have never been to a maid cafe, what can attendees expect at one of your events?
I think our Facebook description answers that question perfectly: “Beautiful maids and charming butlers serving you scrumptious food and drink with a large helping of fun on the side ヽ(；▽；)ノ”. That’s exactly what you can expect （＞ｙ＜）However we don’t like to reveal all our secrets too soon so do also expect some surprises. We will announce more closer to the event so please keep an eye on all our pages （ΦωΦ）
How similar is your cafe to Japanese maid cafes?
There have been such a wide variety of maid cafes in Japan I’m sure we share similarities with many of them, but what we have tried to do is take the best aspects and add an Ai My Maid twist. For example while a lot of Japanese maid cafes are influenced by Western culture, we’re a Western maid cafe that is influenced by Japanese culture. Without giving too much away I can tell you that things like sauce art, food spells, games, cheki (polaroid pictures with maids) and performances will definitely make an appearance (●⌒∇⌒●) The idea of ‘moé’ that every maid cafe aims to put across is also very much intact, but as mentioned above we want to try and give a more natural type of moé rather than be too over the top and unrealistic.
What are the rules for attendees of the maid cafe?
The number one rule is for attendees to respect all our staff as some of them don’t take kindly to people who have offended their Ai My Maid family and have offended the maid cafe ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) We will also have a no photography rule in place at LAC unless you are taking pictures of the food and drink. All the rules will be explained before entering the cafe （＾_＾）
Keep updated with all of Ai My Maid news and events via https://www.facebook.com/AiMyMaid
Come visit Ai My Maid at London Anime Convention 20-21 July!