Serving people quality food for a price isn’t what it used to be. The modern-day restaurant is serving up drinks and food with a side of tricks to cut corners and save money. An investment adviser activist group, Starboard Value, has exposed the innards of the restaurant business so the public and investors can make more informed decisions with their buying power.

Restaurants are eating establishments designed to satiate your cravings and fulfill your hunger while providing you nice service and a clean environment in exchange for financial compensation. But what would you do if you knew the place serving you was cheating you? Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes by becoming more aware of what exactly you’re purchasing.

Running a successful restaurant business is difficult, and it’s no surprise 60 percent don’t make it past their first year of opening their doors. After five years, a total of 80 percent of restaurants fail and go under, according to Cornell University. The food industry is a very high-risk type of business venture, which is exactly why creatively cutting corners seems like a good way to pinch pennies on their slim margins.

10 Tricks Of The Restaurant Trade:

1. Baby Burgers

This year there was a rise in beef prices, so restaurants responded by decreasing the ounces of the burgers without patrons noticing. Instead of an eight-ounce burger patty, they cut out an ounce or two gradually. Then they started ordering smaller buns to hide the fact there’s less meat.

2. Renaming Your Food

If you’re in a nice seafood restaurant, there’s a good chance you’ll see Chilean sea bass on the menu. But that’s only its trade name in the U.S., renamed to sound more delicious. When it was sold under its real name, the Patagonian toothfish, it just wasn’t selling enough.

3. Skimping On The Salt

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden , saves by not adding it to their pasta when cooking. This makes their pots last longer because the sodium grains eat away at the finishing after time. Other restaurants may follow suit to save money, but that doesn't mean their food's lower in sodium. They're just heavy on the salt shaker once it's out of the pot and onto your plate.

4. Up-Charging Cheap Wine

That $15 bottle of wine you just purchased off the menu actually cost the restaurant $2.50. That’s six times the price of the original retail price. The quality of the bottle is generally not in question, but if the price is questioned the restaurant has an answer. They can make a special liquor order (SLO) for wines not found at your local liquor store so they seem fancier, rarer, more refined if you will. Regardless, it’s still a cheap bottle of wine.

5. Not Enough Head On the Beer

It’s not just the wine that’s tomfoolery at a restaurant, but also the beer you’ve been poured. If it has a thin head, it’s no coincidence. This is an area where restaurants can save a couple pennies because saving the oily one-inch head foam at the top of the beer can stretch the kegs. The difference between pouring a beer with a half an inch of foam and a full inch can save approximately 20 beers per keg.

6. Sad Salads

Restaurants will put fewer berries and nuts on their expensive seasonal salads just to stretch their inventory longer. The portions begin to change and fewer berries begin to appear on the plate, however, patrons rarely notice because it’s mixed in with greens and dressing to distract from the void.

7. Formaldehyde Shrimp, Anyone?

When shrimp replaced tuna as the most frequently eaten seafood in the U.S. 10 years ago, the shrimp-farming market in Asia exploded. These cheap farm-raised shrimp were on nearly every fancy restaurant menu in America, but they needed to keep the massive amounts clean. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stepped in and approved of the use of formalin, a diluted form of formaldehyde.

8. Menu Position Play

Restaurant consulting firm Aaron Allen & Associations said a restaurant can net $1,000 more per month by just rearranging the menu items. Studies using eye trackers have found the middle of the page is the sweet spot. It’s where the patron’s eyes gravitate toward. Most people will make their purchasing decision based on what’s in the middle, which means putting items that drive good margins can boost revenue. The dish doesn’t even have to be the most expensive, it’s just what costs them the least to make them the most money.

9. Shrinking Plates

When food prices rise across the board, restaurants will trade in their 12-inch plates for 11-inchers to fool the mind into thinking there’s no less food on their plate. According to Mindless Eating author Brian Wansink, it isn’t a bad idea considering smaller plates encourage portion control, which is just what a country that’s one-third obese needs.

10. Heavy On The Silverware

A light fork and a nice cut of steak are a bad combination. Studies have shown patrons will grade a steak at a higher quality if they use a heavy knife and fork. The same steak with a lighter fork will be graded lower. It may cost the restaurant more initially, but their ratings will be higher in the long term.