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Mike Tepool and John McBride whom both graduated from Auburn University opened Tenders! first restaurant May of 1996 in the Five Points area of Huntsville, AL. After several years of kicking the idea of opening a chicken fingers restaurant in Huntsville, the two met one fall day at Monte Sano Terrace apartments to try and duplicate the chicken tenders and sauce they once loved to eat while attending Auburn.

While Tepool and McBride began to fry the freshly battered chicken tenders in a small Fry Daddy, they also started mixing different concoctions on what would be the Tenders! famous sauce. After several attempts, the wives of Tepool and McBride agreed the sauce was perfect. Tepool continues to mix the Tenders! sauce daily to ensure freshness for all locations.

After success with the Five Points location, Tepool decided to open the second location in Madison, AL. Tepool has plans of opening at least two more locations in the Huntsville area before developing in surrounding areas.