Restaurant: cook, meal, customer, till, apron, bill

Cook Idioms

Idiom Explanation Example
cook the books change facts and figures to make things appear better than they are/hide that you have stolen money Turns out our accountant has been cooking the books for years and now we have no money!
too many cooks spoil the broth when too many people do something it will not be done well It took hours to write a simple email because there were too many of us writing it. I could have done it faster myself…too many cooks spoil the broth.
cook somebody’s goose stop somebody from becoming successful by damaging their reputation or spoiling their plans I cooked my own goose by arriving 30 minutes late for a job interview.

Meal Idioms

Idiom Explanation Example
make a meal out of something make something more serious than it is/do something with more care and attention than is required

—Where is Johnny? I’m going to kill him when he gets here!
—Relax, Johnny is always late. Don’t make a meal out of it!

a meal ticket a person or thing that is only a means of food or money Milly is a dancer but teaching is her meal ticket.

Restaurant Idioms

Idiom Explantion Example
wait on somebody hand and foot do almost everything for somebody My grandmother expects me to wait on my husband hand and foot.
a tough customer a person who knows what they want and isn’t easily swayed by others. You’ll have a hard time convincing Jane to change her mind, she’s a tough customer.
have your fingers/hand in the till steal small amounts of money from work Joel lost his job because he had had his fingers in the till.
tied to somebody’s apron strings controlled or influenced too much by somebody You’re really tied to her apron strings. You can’t even make a simple decision on your own.
foot the bill pay for something, usually large sums of money The record company was forced to foot the bill after the band trashed multiple hotel rooms.
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Exercises C1

Complete the sentences with the words below.

cooked – meal – till – waits

  1. He’s only going out with her because she’s rich. She is his   ticket.
  2. I double-booked myself last weekend, so I decided to tell my friend that I was sick and go on a date with a cute boy. But mum   my goose when my friend rang to see how I was feeling. She told her I was on a date and now she’s mad at me!
  3. How can Michelle afford all those designer labels? She must have her hand in the  .
  4. When we are ill, our mother   on us hand and foot.

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. The company had been losing money for years, but nobody knew about it.
  2. Last weekend we met a movie star in the club. We partied like kings, and he wanted to pay for everything.
  3. I asked Laura to make a little birthday card for mum. I thought it would take her half an hour, but she’s been working on it for 3 hours!
  4. Without a leader the scouts tried to navigate their way out of the forest together, but everyone had different suggestions and they ended up getting lost.
  5. Jerry isn’t about to move out of home, his mother still makes all of his decision for him.

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