THE WAFFLE HOUSE AND THE DYING USTA. By Javier Palenque

javier palenque
5 min readMar 28, 2023
  • (article number 279, year six, all articles are in LINKEDIN and the USTA board still refuses to be held accountable)

This past week I was traveling all over the west coast of Florida with my kids. One of their favorite breakfast places is the famous Waffle House, to those unfamiliar with this 24/7 hrs. restaurant it is an easily accessible, no wait, great affordable place to get a decent breakfast. Once there you will discover that the menu is the same as it was decades ago, and the servers are usually older people who like to work in this people-friendly restaurant. What my kids love about this place are the actual memories of us going there over the years when both of my kids competed all over Florida, we used to have match strategy meetings there before matches at the famous Waffle House.

The comparison with the USTA is of course that this small restaurant has never really changed its offerings and what has happened is that it has aged with the times without adapting to the new changing demographics of the nation. So the customer base is usually the same, low-income individuals and older folks who are on a tight budget. If one looks around many of the patrons are blue-collar immigrant workers on their way to an early job somewhere.

Please make no mistake this is a $1B business that nets roughly around $150M per year, (compared to USTA which has revenues of $485 and nets a miserable $5M if it makes that). As a comparison also know that the CEO of this for-profit business makes $700K per year, compare that to the USTA CEO a supposed charity, not-for-profit who runs a two weeks show for wall street types and makes $1,5M per year. You know something is wrong, when the CEO does not know tennis, runs a non for profit, helps no one, deceives the government and public, and pretends to care for a paper-only mission until you read their financials and realize it is all a big lie. In the business world, we call it a scam or in legal terms a fraud of an organization, yes that is your USTA, SIMPLY REPULSIVE and the board’s position is what?

When you go to a Waffle House, it is impossible not to see the aging of the place and how it is just so out of touch with the new dynamics of the demographics of the country. The Waffle House started in 1955 and to see and understand how they missed the consumer boat, just compare their sales and profits to an intelligent competitor, Starbucks’, which has revenues of $26.8B and profits of $5.9B…

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javier palenque

Executive, Tennis fanatic, writer, entrepreneur. Micro brewery owner, tennis coach and fashion photographer, creative soul, life lover.