Sandwich Board Series

Victoria Bylaw No. 13-083 requires businesses to pay an annual usage charge for portable signage. That’s enough of the stuffy business. So if you wanna have a sandwich board here, you gotta wanna have a sandwich board.

Sandwich boards: little street signs that dot the sidewalks of any town like little advertising tents.  The restaurants of the City of Victoria require that pleasant little annual fee, so are they putting their good money to use?

Street signage acts like little Sirens; beckoning people walking by out of the rain and walk on the shores of food and beverage. What makes a sandwich board win, and what makes it just another signpost on the way through a day?

Some post specials, others tend to blend a bit of humor to get diners in the door. The trick to a good sandwich board is too be memorable enough, and just cheeky enough, to stand out from among the other street noise.


Clarke & Co., one of the new kids in town often puts out a sign that just reads “Why Not?” Fair enough, why not right? This may be a dramatically deep philosophical question that has plagued the noggins of great thinkers since antiquity, but it does kind of make you hungry doesn’t it?

Bard & Banker sign board letting us know what to drink, what to sip, and when the live action begins.

Bard & Banker sign board letting us know what to drink, what to sip, and when the live action begins.

Bard and Banker likes to throw a little humour flair into their board. Soup of the day “whiskey?” Even if you’re not keen on a bowl of hard liquor for lunch, it is still intriguing.

We’ve just been through a pretty stormy week, which has lead many a poor sandwich board to find itself splayed on the pavement. How embarrassing. The Guild has this problem dialed. Their sandwich board has a lovely little garden base that double as some ballast and a bit of botanical beauty.


Most sandwich boards exist to convey the daily specials, or to at least inquire within about them. While not the most creative use we’ve seen on the mean streets, it can often get the job done. Nothing beats saving money on a unique little lunch, at least not for me.

Now that British Columbia’s draconic liquor laws have been amended, restaurants throughout the city have a great opportunity to employ happy hour specials. Sandwich boards are a great way to get the word out on what you’re offering.

One thing is for sure, $100 per year is and isn’t a lot of money at once. It’s more than the $0 to put out a sign that we enjoyed a few years ago. There’s a lot one could do with $100, so the best move is to make it count.

The winning boards will always be those unique gems that truly hop off the sidewalks and into our memories, then linger there until our tummies grumble. What are your favourite sandwich boards, and which do you feel have a bit more to offer?

Josh Collis

Kiss Media Group, Broad Street, Victoria, BC, V8W