How Jersey Mike's Rebuilt their Infrastructure during COVID

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Stephen here.

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Jersey Mike’s has been my latest fast food addiction.

My go-to order is a #9 Club Supreme, Mike’s Way, with cherry pepper relish and jalapeños.

So good.

Don’t believe me? Give it a try some time. You won’t regret it.

But what separates Jersey Mike’s from other sandwich chains is their commitment to giving back to the community.

During the COVID pandemic, Jersey Mike’s ran an advertising campaign offering 50% off all sandwiches.

To make the deal even sweeter, the company offered free deliveries.

As you can guess, the majority of these orders came from their mobile app.

The ad went viral, jumping from an average of 800 orders a day to 80,000+ orders within the first four hours.

Jersey Mike’s legacy infrastructure couldn’t fulfill the orders, and customers were unhappy.

Changes needed to be made.

A Sub Above

Jersey Mike’s used AWS for their existing services and pipelines. The logical choice was to continue building off the current environment.

But that’s not the case.

The team wanted a new mobile app. Like an eCommerce platform that provided customers with a complete ordering experience.

An app with a rewards system, exclusive offers and multiple ordering options (delivery, pickup, catering).

To reach these goals, the team needed to build from the ground up.

An environment capable of supporting and maintaining a business-critical application.

A system built around security, reliability, and performance.

Freshly Made, Right in Front of You

Following the Cloud Foundations Framework, Jersey Mike’s built their deployment around AWS Control Tower.

Jersey Mike’s Cloud Foundation Around AWS Control Tower

The first step was to setup the following key services:

  • AWS Organizations: Centrally manage multiple AWS accounts.

  • AWS Single Sign-On: Manage user access to AWS applications and services (now known as AWS IAM Identity Center).

  • AWS CloudTrail: Audit, monitor, and troubleshoot user activity and API usage.

  • AWS Config: Manage resource configuration changes.

  • Amazon SNS: Publish messages to subscribers.

By creating a proper landing zone and leveraging Account Factory, Jersey Mike’s built an automated provisioning strategy for multiple accounts.

Automated Account Provisioning Strategy With Account Factory

This strategy provisioned accounts in a standardized, secure and repeatable way.

It’s Not Just a Sandwich, It’s a Jersey Mike’s

With the core AWS accounts completed, the team used AWS CloudFormation to automate infrastructure within each account.

The team created CloudFormation templates to do the following:

  • Deploy infrastructure components: EKS resources, Fargate, RDS, and more.

  • Deploy VPC for Flow Logs: Logs aggregated to centralized S3 bucket.

  • Attach VPC to AWS Transit Gateway: Gain visibility of network traffic patterns.

How about scalability?

Jersey Mike’s new mobile app needed to scale with demand in a cost efficient way.

By pairing EKS with Fargate, the system would scale accordingly, and the company would only pay for the resources needed to run the app.

In addition, both services can easily be integrated into existing application pipelines.

Scaling Jersey Mike’s Mobile App with EKS on Fargate

As an influx of orders came in, Kubernetes would deploy more pods to handle the increased load through autoscaling. This is also known as horizontal scaling.

With these new infrastructure changes, Jersey Mike’s is able to meet high user demand, optimize cloud spend, and reduce the operation workload for their team.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it.

If I made a mistake, please let me know.

P.S. If you’re enjoying the content of this newsletter, please share it with your network and subscribe:


[1] “Jersey Mike’s is a Brand that Believes,”

[2] “Jersey Mike’s: Securely Scaling Cloud Capabilities to Meet Demand,”

[3] “AWS Well-Architected,”

[4] “Cloud Foundations Framework Overview,”

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