BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In 1946 a man named Milo Carlton started selling hamburgers in downtown Birmingham. Seventy-five years later, the Milo’s name is synonymous with burgers, fries, a secret sauce and giving what Milo called a little something extra.
The formula has stood that test of time and as their famous jingle says, “Everybody Goes To Milo’s.”
“The Milo’s jingle gets stuck in your head, ‘Everybody goes to Milo’s’ and you can’t get it out,” laughs Milo’s Mary Duncan Proctor.
Al Tomlin has worked for Milo’s for 35 years. He says for many Milo’s is like coming home.
“Our stores do a huge amount of business on Thanksgiving and Christmas. All the families come home, and everybody wants to go to Milo’s. People grew up eating Milo’s and that’s what they like. I have a son that lives in Dothan. They drive to Montgomery from Dothan to eat at Milo’s.”
Lots of places make burgers, but Milo Carlton’s burgers had a personal signature, an extra piece of meat. Milo called it giving a little something extra.
Mary Duncan explains, “That was giving back to his customers and to this day we still have that little extra piece of meat that we put on the burgers that is giving the customers a little something extra. We sprinkle a few more fries in the bag so it’s overflowing for them, and we’ve also brought that little something extra into our culture.”
A culture which includes that jingle, those burgers, and the secret sauce.
Al admits, “For years there wasn’t hardly anybody except Milo and his sons that knew the secret, what ingredients went into the sauce but there’s a few more people that know it now but it’s still very guarded. People ask us about it. We don’t talk about it. That’s usually how I get somebody to try Milo’s. They’ll come in and they go, ‘I’ve never had this before’ and we’ll give them a couple of fries and a little thing of sauce and they dip it and they go, ‘Oh yes. That’s great. I want it on my burger.’ "
“If you’re thinking about your traditional burger, you’ve got plenty of places to choose from, but you cannot a Milo’s burger anywhere outside of a Milo’s Restaurant,” says Mary Duncan.
Al thinks there is one other secret to the success of Milo’s.
“I think the love that’s put into making every burger is what makes it different.”
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