A few more comments on the whole tipping thing. When I was a waiter, the law was that you were supposed to declare all your tips as taxable income. Nobody actually did that, but you'd get taxed on 8% of your gross sales even if you declared less. So, if I waited on someone for an hour at $2.35 an hour, and their check was $100, and they stiffed me, the feds would tax me as if I'd made $10.35 (my wage plus the $8 minimum they assumed I'd been tipped.) If the tax rate was 15%, that means that the feds took $1.55 from me. So, for that hour, I made a whopping $.80.
That's just an example. Here's a real-world situation. Because my wages were so low, after I declared tip income, I once got a paycheck of $4.60 for 60 hours of work.
The way I see it, tipping is part of the price of my meal. Unless of course, the service stinks.
And Cali, many of the restaurants I worked at included a 15% tip in the meal for parties of 8 or more. When I brought the check, I would always let the folks know the restaurant's policy, and tell them that if that wasn't okay, I could remove it. Folks usually said it wasn't a problem, and would usually throw in a few more bucks. Of course, I paid my way through college waiting tables, so I must not have been TOO bad.
The only time I waited tables without tips was doing baquet work at the San Francisco Airport Marriot. Tips were not included, but we made $13.00 an hour!