i can tell you, here in NYC when I was working my salary was $15 a DAY. a day. that is from 3PM when I came in and setup for dinner, through 11PM when the kitchen closes, through 1-2AM when the last customer leaves, through 3AM when we finish tallying up the tips and dividing them and cleaned up (we pooled tips).
Here's another thing to consider: a lot of places pool tips, especially busy places with a very active bartender (who is also the cashier). I'm not talking about Perkins or Denny and diners where there is a full time cashier but the type of places with an active bar, and swanky feel to them. The bartender doesn't have the time to put tips in individual boxes and so he throws them all in one box which we split afterwards.
Why am I saying this? Because, if you leave someone 1 penny, You may have left every waiter, bus boy, and food runner without a tip. Unless they ALL acted in a terrible manner (for which I wouldn't even pay the bill and have a serious chat with the manager) you might be screwing over people that you did not intend to.
Best approach to bad service is - let it slide if its tolerable (we are all human after all) but if it is sooo bad that it really damages your experience - the manager is the place to go. If the manager does nothing, take the high road - leave 15% and never come back. They will lose your business but the busboys who done nothing wrong will still get paid for their underrated job.
- from a former waiter / busboy / dishwasher