Quoting FroggysMommy:" I tip based on service. I once had a waiter be a complete smurfing dick to me and my ex, and was an even ... [snip!] ... you are constantly getting smurf tips maybe it's time to look at yourself instead of saying "people suck! I got stiffed AGAIN!""
That's how I operate. I tip really well 95% of the time, but if I get treated poorly I don't "owe" you anything...and generally I don't think it's even 5% of the time I get bad service, but it has happened & when it does, I don't feel obligated at all. If I need extra, if people in my party are rude or aren't tipping well, I go overboard to make sure it's compensated. I also always tip a minimum of a few dollars even if my order might be a few dollars. It takes no less effort to bring me a pie & coffee than a sandwich & soda, so I never give less than a few bucks, even if that makes the tip 100% - again assuming no asshattery is involved. I also tip extra at the holidays, as I've always gotten holiday bonuses & figure it is just passing that along. There was one waitress I adored where I used to lunch regularly when I worked & I always gave her a $50 at Christmas. I will definitely treat waitstaff well if I am treated well, but I don't put up with bullsmurf either & then feel like I am responsible for the way that person makes ends meet. If you suck at service, it is best that you skip taking a tip-based job.