Advertisement
  1. Florida

Was the Publix chicken tender sub invented by three hungry Florida men?

Last week, a Florida man claimed to be the co-creator of Publix’s famous chicken tender sub. But what’s the truth?
Photo of Publix sub: [CHRIS URSO I Times]. Photo of Publix: Times (2010)
Published Jun. 11

A new origin story for Publix’s beloved chicken tender sub emerged last week on social media.

After amassing a thousand or so likes on Twitter, the story begged one question: Is it true?

The post first originated on the popular “Are Publix Chicken Tender Subs on Sale?” Facebook page.

In late May, a Facebook user named Dave Charls offered his story for the creation of the chicken tender Publix sub. Let us set the stage for you.

It’s the late ’90s and two young Florida men are at the deli counter of a Publix on Fleming Island. We’ll call them Kevin and Dave. (That’s what Dave calls them.)

Kevin and Dave are coworkers who want one simple thing: to combine Publix’s chicken tenders and their sub rolls into one cohesive sandwich. For months, they’ve walked into Publix and done just that, buying the chicken tenders and the roll separately because, in their words, “the people in the deli REFUSED to ring it up as a sub.”

Here's a little history of the publix chicken tender sub: Publix chicken tender subs were not on the menu and didn't...

Posted by Dave Charls on Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Then one day, everything changes. A Publix employee, presumably Dave’s friend, Philip, agrees to formally make this sub.

“I finally had a guy on the inside who would do it!” Dave says.

The sandwich took off, according to Dave’s story. The Fleming Island Publix advertised the sandwich the following day on a sign scrawled in chalk, Dave said.

Soon, it spread to other stores. “Thus, the chicken tender pub-sub was born,” Dave’s post reads. A request last week to the Facebook account associated with Dave Charls did not yield a response.

Only here’s the thing: Dave’s story doesn’t line up with dates provided by Publix. The grocery giant says the first corporate documentation for a chicken tender Pub Sub recipe and procedure was recorded in 1992 or 1993, at least four years before Dave and co. said they came up with it.

“We can on our end say no," said Brian West, Publix’s spokesman, noting the timeline discrepancy.

Unfortunately, West says there is no definitive origin story for the iconic sandwich. The store does not have firm records, at least according to West, as to where the first chicken tender Pub Sub was made.

We’re left with this: Dave and Philip and Kevin were not the first to eat the chicken tender pub sub, according to Publix.

And they certainly won’t be the last.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. An eighth-grade boy can be seen punching a seventh-grader in a locker room in this screenshot from a video taken inside a Polk County middle school. Twitter
    A black student was slammed to the floor and punched repeatedly by a white classmate following a physical education class last week at Blake Academy in Lakeland.
  2. Two western lowland gorillas at Busch Gardens were part of the successful Budweiser ad campaign during Super Bowl XLI. Sim Sim, left, and Cenzoo, right, helped sell Bud Light. BUSCH GARDENS  |  Tampa Tribune
    Sim Sim’s claim to fame was a 2007 Bud Light commercial.
  3. A still image from Vice's "WTFlorida?!" episode on Paul Flart. Courtesy of Vice
    Short documentaries on Floridians like hurricane headbanger Lane Pittman and Polk security guard “Paul Flart” expand their stories.
  4. University of Central Florida tourism professor Deborah Breiter says leisure trips are often easier to cancel than business trips, so when there is a prediction of a storm, people will cancel. GEORGE SKENE  |  MCT
    In Orlando, the nation’s most visited tourist destination, hotel occupancy was down by almost 42 percent on the Saturday before Labor Day.
  5. A poster board in memoriam of the victims is seen during a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Hollywood, Fla. Police discuss the manslaughter charges they filed against a Florida nursing home administrator and employees for the 2017 heat-related deaths of 12 patients after Hurricane Irma knocked out the facility's air conditioning. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Residents at the now-shuttered Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died amid sweltering heat after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
  6. Shiraaz Sookralli pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Image by Archive
    Shiraaz Sookralli faces up to 20 years in prison at a Nov. 14 sentencing.
  7. Dave Aronberg, state attorney for Palm Beach County, Fla., speaks during a news conference on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in West Palm Beach. Palm Beach County Sheriff's officials said they arrested Robert Hayes for first degree murder in Rachel Bey's death. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    Investigators said the odds are 700-billion-to-1 that the killer is someone other than Robert Hayes. That is 100 times the world’s population.
  8. This Jan. 31, 2017 photo shows the entrance to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Gustavo “Gus” Antorcha cited a “difference of approach.”
  9. Josh Hensley was known for dressing as Jack Sparrow. Facebook
    Joshua Hensley, 43, was found dead Monday morning. He went missing after setting out on a paddle board Saturday.
  10. The body of Casei Jones was found near Brantley County, Ga. Her four children remain missing. Marion County Sheriff's Office
    The five bodies were discovered in Georgia.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement