a few things: "Standard" does not mean minimum. It means, the standard tip for standard service. Meaning poor service gets less, above normal gets above normal.
However, yes, it seems people were tipping more during the run of good economy we had - to the point that 20% was the standard. However, with the economy where it is now, I do see people tipping closer to the 15%. I don't consider them to be cheapskates.
Restauranteurs cannot get mad at this. They should be glad people are getting out.
Last night, I had a fantastic meal at relatively new neighborhood joint. A small cozy place in a changing neighborhood. The tiny restaurant sits among a couple gentrifying neighborhoods, but still racked with drugs and violence. The food is southern and nothing short of spectacular. Last night I had the meatloaf BBQ sandwich. Two thick cut slices of savory meatloaf with some bbq gravy served open faced, but can be put together and eaten with hands - barely. Instead of fries, he let me get the collard greens as my side. My friend and I sat at the bar and the bartender was super friendly. His service was excellent, his drink pours were generous. 3 Jack and diets ($8) and the sandwich (4), which was fantastic, came to $32. We were at the bar for a about two hours - I left him $40.
Why an $8 tip? Two reasons, his service was excellent, and I really want this place to survive. I will also be going back again and as often as we can, there is much on the menu I want to try.
Langston Bar and Grille: http://langstonbar.com/
Maybe not the best example, since there are times when a 15% tip is mandated and sometimes when less than 15% is mandated. Although, to be honest, if it appears that things have gone sour and a low tip is coming, I will usually try to talk with the manager and let them know that things aren't working out. But, honestly, that is a very rare occurance. Most places will at least give you standard service.