I searched every translation site I could find, and I can't make sense of what it's supposed to mean. I know 看板親父 is some kind of chef in a restaurant, but what do you called it in English?


Translation sites (or even big paper dictionaries) would not work with 「[看板親父]{かんばんおやじ}」 because it is not an established term.

The well-established term instead is 「[看板娘]{かんばんむすめ}」, which refers to a pretty girl store clerk that draws many (male) customers. 「看板」 originally meant a "signboard" but also has another meaning of "draw" or "attraction". 「娘」 means a "young girl" or "daughter". So a 看板娘 is often the business owner's own daughter.

「看板親父」, therefore, is a coined parody that plays on the original phrase 「看板娘」 and it would refer to a male owner or employee of character who attracts many customers.

If it is a chef that is being referred to as a 看板親父, how about a "star chef" for a translation?

This smoke shop in Tokyo has a rare 看板[犬]{けん} as it says in the video title.

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