The best meat is in the tail.
But perhaps you prefer to leave the tiresome business of food preparation to others. Well don't think you're avoiding being screwed (and we're not just talking about the gallon of waiter and busboy fluids you've consumed due to your lousy tipping).
Eat and Get the Hell Out
There's nothing casual about "casual dining" chains. Their goal is to make you spend as much as possible, as quickly as possible, then clear you out to make room for next minivan full of jalapeno popper-hungry mouths.
To keep you from lingering, chairs are ass-numbingly uncomfortable, the restaurant is divided up into sections to prevent a social atmosphere, and as many tables as possible are "un-anchored" away from walls or partitions (we tend to feel uncomfortable sitting out in the open and won't stick around). Warm colors have been shown to make us eat more and move on quicker, as has fast paced music (as a rule don't eat anywhere with "Flight of the Bumblebee" playing over the speakers).
Getting Less for More
In troubled economic times everyone becomes united in a single goal: chiseling as much money as they can out of everyone else; this includes restaurants, who are using the current economy as an excuse to raise prices while simultaneously cutting down on portions.
Plates are subtly reduced in size and raised in the middle, concealing reduced portion sizes. Even silverware is taken into account, as restaurants will use lighter forks, making the weight of the food on it more noticeable, causing you to think your bites are more substantial. The quality of ingredients is also dropping, with food being aggressively recycled, even picked right out of the trash, and less expensive ingredients are substituted for what's printed on the menu (hey, it all tastes like chicken anyways).