It was an ordinary day in late April when my Facebook news feed blew up with the #getmatthisshake. After some further investigating, I have discovered that the Rockville location of Cheeburger Cheeburger has cut its list of "a zillion flavors" down to less than 20, when a senior at my alma mater was only three shakes away from his 10-year dream of trying every flavor milkshake.
Determined to obtain his last three shakes, Wootton High School senior Matthew Klein and his friends have started a campaign for Cheeburger Cheeburger to reinstate the three flavors needed for Matthew to finish his quest. Matthew was kind enough to let me interview him about his campaign, why he started it, and where it's going.
*RS denotes Ronnie Schoen, MK denotes Matthew Klein. Content has been very lightly edited for clarity*
RS: Hey Matthew, so I write for Odyssey and I was wondering if I could interview you so I could write an article about your quest to #getmatthisshake
MK: Oh sure
RS: Ok could you give me a synopsis of your history with Cheeburger Cheeburger?
MK: It started around 10 years ago when I decided to try every one of their milkshakes one day just for the heck of it. So I began with apple pie and went every few weeks to get another, each time trying something new and never one I had had before. I'd go every few weeks or so and it was great - I'd go with friends or family and each time was not only enjoyable but I felt like I was making progress. I enjoyed their menu, but of course now I have a great disdain for them since they were so rude to me.
RS:Have they been rude to you in other ways besides cutting down on shake flavors?
MK: Well when I first noticed they took them down I politely asked for them to make me one of the my last three. They totally could because I saw the flavoring mix right there, but the lady refused and was not very kind about it either, just kind of told me to move on even though I'd been a loyal patron for years and years
MK: Plus they haven't responded to my request and I've been quite civil.
RS: Cheeburger claimed to have had "a zillion flavors," but how many flavors were really originally on the menu?
MK: Probably around 75 or maybe even more, but of course they were proud of their many combinations.
RS: Of course, according to the flyer posted on your website there are over 1,285,000 flavor combinations. Once you had finished each flavor would you have tried to have every combination?
MK: Oh no, that was never part of the plan. My goal was just to make my last article of the Wootton newspaper (for which I write) an examination of my favorites and least favorites, but I planned to stop after white chocolate raspberry, the last flavor.
RS: I see. So you mentioned that the list of flavors was cut down in December but this movement did not start until April. What was your inspiration to start this revolution 4-5 months after the change?
MK: Well recently I've had a lot more time, just being a senior and now having chosen my college and such. I was furious in December but kind of put it on hold until I could give it my full attention, which I felt like it deserved. Took a little while but I was coaxed by my best friend and campaign organizer Aaron Levine to take on the fight a few weeks ago, which I did.
RS: Besides Aaron, who has been pivotal in this campaign?
MK:Katie Schreck is my co-campaign organizer with Aaron and Sara Hodes is the campaign deputy organizer
MK:My newspaper adviser Evva Starr also occasionally acts as my free speech adviser as well, making sure I can't get in trouble for anything I say.
RS: What events have Aaron, Katie, and Sara organized?
MK: Katie reached out to Ellen for us, which our ultimately goal. We're still waiting on a response on that. She also made our website. Aaron is the one who organized our Yelp campaign, which was our first step. Sara made our flyers, and of course I sign off on everything. We are hoping to organize a call-in campaign sometime next week
RS: You mentioned writing for Wootton's newspaper, have you written anything about this matter?
MK: Sorry for the delay. Yes, I wrote an article calling for a boycott in December and another one, written by Aaron, will be run in the issue that comes out next Tuesday.
RS: will you be continuing your campaign over the summer and in college?
MK: Likely over the summer, probably not in college because I'll be so far.
RS: Are there any Cheeburger Cheeburger locations near Emory?
MK: There aren't any in the state of Georgia
RS: That's too bad. Around how much money would you say you've spent at Cheeburger Cheeburger over the years?
MK: Unquestionably hundreds. $5 per milkshake times at the very least 60. Of course sometimes my parents bought them, but combined definitely hundreds
RS:Would you say this quest was worth the money spent?
MK: Absolutely not, given the outcome. We even made another plea to get the last three shakes in the store but the manager was incredibly rude and told me to give up. So until I finish my list, no, this was not worth it, and I regret helping their business
RS: Given that this is a corporate policy, have you considered going above the Rockville location?
MK: Emailed their overall Vice President but he did not respond. We did try to make them aware though, so it was not just a local thing
RS: What is your favorite shake flavor?
MK: Never got to try them all but I will say I was pleasantly surprised by Granny Smith apple.
If you want to get involved in the campaign here's where to go
Hashtags: #BoycottCheeburger #GetMattHisShake