I find it appalling that there is 2 different minimum wages one for servers and one for "other workers". I didn't know this. I figured that a minimum wage is that, a minimum wage. Across the boarder to your north there is 1 minimum wage and that is anywhere from $6-$8/hour (depending on different provinces). I have never tipped more than 20% and that was for just great service, and excellent food. I do tip almost every time I am in a restaurant, but it is normally 10 - 15%, and if I get bad service I don't tip at all.
I think I will change my tipping when I go down into the US, now knowing how poorly they are being paid. I do have a hard time with tipping 20% on a $300 meal, just because I am in a fancy restaurant and the prices are high.... that's like $60. A tip should in no way supplement there wages, it should be a bonus for doing a good job and keeping there customers happy.
Over across the pond I had a chance to talk to a few of the waiters, in Europe there is schooling involved to become a waiter, but they just don't serve the food, they can also pick up the slack in the kitchen, cover for the head waiter and do the dishes at the same time. It just isn't a job, it is a career.
I remember my father saying once ...(about 30 years ago) when we were on holidays in the US, you have to tip here otherwise you will get no service the next time you come in, I never did understand it (Fully)...until now.