Japan has long been known for its quirky cafes and restaurants. They popularized cat cafes, they have poop-themed restaurants that sell "poo curry", and they have a sleep cafe where you can nap in a $9000 bed. With so many crazy concepts out there, it can be hard for a new establishment to stand out and have people talking. But this cafe in Tokyo has everyone shaking their head, precisely because of its unconventional hiring practices.
Naturalia, a cafe that originally opened in Sapporo back in 2015, bills itself as the "World's First No Make-up Cafe Bar". They only hire women who don't wear a lick of makeup, have hair dyed in vibrant colors, or have flashy nails. According to their website, they also don't hire waitresses who smoke, and those who previously worked in nightclubs.
Now, they are set to open a new branch in Tokyo, for which it has a crowdfunding campaign that has successfully garnered almost $10,000, double its target amount.
The idea behind the cafe is rooted from the owners' observation that there were no more cafes where "normal looking" employees worked. While it may sound off, the overwhelming support the cafe has gotten from the crowdfunding campaign goes to show that it has filled a needed niche in the market.
Translated from the website, the owner states the reason why they put up the cafe:
"I was able to create a shop that I had imagined for a long time.
It is not a shop focused on looks. Not just beautiful people."
While it's not everyday that you see a cafe that promotes natural beauty, the first line of the description on the Naturalia website, "A flashy girl is not good", raises a few red flags and eyebrows.
It's just not everyone's cup of tea (pun intended).