Subway on Tuesday said it has acquired assets from the Canadian e-commerce team Avanti Commerce as part of the sandwich giant’s continued efforts to build its digital presence.
In making the acquisition, Subway is buying a 20-person team, which will remain in Vancouver and help the chain bolster its mobile ordering and payment capabilities. It could also speed Subway’s development of in-store kiosks, something the chain is developing alongside Avanti.
“This reinforces our commitment to attracting top technology and digital marketing talent,” said Carman Wenkoff, Subway chief information officer and chief digital officer. “This will bring our commerce platform of enhancing engagement and building loyalty to the next level and will allow us to deliver value to the market quickly.”
Restaurant chains have been working feverishly to bolster their digital presence in recent years in an effort to improve convenience, speed up service and save on labor. Subway is the largest restaurant chain in the world by unit count, with about 27,000 locations in the U.S. and 44,600 units worldwide.
Milford, Conn.-based Subway is making a huge push in this arena. The Avanti acquisition comes months after Subway organized its digital technology under a single group called Subway Digital. The company is determined to change the customer experience inside its restaurants.
The acquisition from Avanti should help by providing Subway with internal talent to develop and operate mobile ordering and payment along with in-store technology. Along with the addition of the 20-person team, Subway Digital is adding at least 50 jobs this year and up to 150 over the next five years.
“Being the only provider that has deployed online ordering at such a large scale, in multiple countries, has put us in a great position to pursue our mission of providing convenience while bridging the in-store and online experience for brands and customers alike,” Jason Strashek, Avanti founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Correction, Sep. 7, 2016: A previous version of this story misrepresented the extent of the deal between Subway and Avanti. Subway is buying only certain assets of Avanti, not the full company.