Now, the base tip is generally 10% of the total bill, unless your party is over eight people, than the restaurant will (generally)automatically add an 18% gratuity.
What I do is start my tipping when I walk in the door. If the staff does and excellent job the waiter will get 30% to 40%, they do a terrible job they will get $5 regardless of the total tab. I have four favorite restaurants that I go to on a regular basis. Two of them get tipped extremely well (generally 40% or over) because when I walk in the door, my favorite waitress (If she sees me coming) will order my drink without me asking and bring it to me while I wait for a table. Which usually isn't long, even if there is a line.
Tipping big has it's advantages