Subway Centralizes Search Discovery With Yext Partnership

Subway Restaurants has entered a partnership with Yext that centralizes the QSR chain’s ability to be discovered on more than 150 platforms—including digital voice assistants — where consumers search for dining options.

The move will make it much easier for Subway and its franchisees to manage and update content related to more than 30,000 restaurants in Canada, the United States and Europe.

According to Lee Zucker, head of industry for food service and hospitality at Yext, the average business sees about 2.7 times the amount of search traffic on third-party platforms than it does on its own site. For the average restaurant, it’s 12 times.

And for the average QSR, it’s “30 times the traffic on third-party platforms compared to their own sites,” Zucker tells Marketing Daily. “When consumers are searching, they’re searching for a restaurant by cuisine type or food item, not necessarily by a restaurant name, some 68% of the time.”

Over the past several years, more than 2,000 Subway locations have been closed, with some relocated, creating considerable confusion.

“The guest experience is something that we are constantly looking to improve, and the online search experience is no exception,” Trevor Haynes, president of North America for Subway, said in a statement. “It is a critical touchpoint for our global network of franchise owners.”

Prior to signing on with Yext’s Search Experience Cloud technology, “no matter where you searched around the country, if you searched for ‘turkey sandwich near me’ on Google, even if you were next to a Subway, it was difficult to find a Subway location,” Zucker adds.

Yext integrates with searchable platforms via application programming interfaces so that people can find such information as location, hours of operation, photos and menus. Previously, managing and updating all of that information across the multitude of searchable platforms fell to a corporate team and individual franchisees who did it “data line by data line.”

If a few Subway locations wanted to close early for Christmas Eve, “they would actually have to manually change their information across all of these different platforms. What they now can do is when they change it within our platform, it is automatically updated across every single one of these third-party platforms to give a more consistent customer experience.”

Yext also is integrated with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Home and Cortana from Microsoft.

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