In these cafés, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants and treat the customers as masters and mistresses in a private home rather than merely as café customers.
The maid costume varies from café to café but most are based upon the costume of French maids, often composed of a dress, a petticoat, a pinafore, a matching hair accessory (such as a frill or a bow), and stockings. Often, employees will also cosplay as anime characters. Sometimes, employees wear animal ears with their outfits to add more appeal.
Waitresses in maid cafés are often chosen on the basis of their appearance; most are young, attractive and innocent-looking women.