Noy and Tin Tran have moved many times throughout their lives since immigrating to the United States – Noy from Thailand and Tin from Vietnam. “We have moved around a lot because we are a military family,” says Tin, an active-duty Commander in the U.S. Navy. So, when he and his family decided to open their own business, it made sense to choose a mobile business. Last year, Tin and Noy brought their first food truck across the country during their move from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States to his new posting in northern Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. This year, they added a second food truck to their growing small business. 

Inside their brightly colored food truck, called Yummie Thai Kitchen, Noy works her culinary magic. She expertly prepares fragrant, flavorful noodle dishes on a sizzling hot wok. Her signature dish is pad thai, which she prepares with her own homemade sauce and special spice blend. Noy’s spicy pad kee mao, or drunken noodles, dish is also a customer favorite. “My wife’s specialty is pad thai. She loves making pad thai. She’s trained me to make drunken noodles, and I follow her recipe,” shares Tin. Alongside their popular stir-fried noodle dishes, they offer fruit juice, boba tea, eggrolls, and more. 

A digital platform solves pain points for food trucks

Food trucks are a diverse and fast-growing segment of the restaurant industry, with the market size for the U.S. food truck industry growing an average of 13.3 percent annually between 2018 and 2023. Many food trucks are owned by immigrants who bring culinary diversity to communities across the country. 

As is the case for many small business owners, it’s difficult for food truck owners to find the time and resources to cover all the many tasks needed to run a successful business: booking and logistics, refueling, payroll, marketing, payments, and, most importantly, cooking and serving food. “A lot of people get in and out of this industry really quickly because it’s a lot of hard work. There are no days off. On the weekends, we’re prepping, we’re going to buy inventory,” says Tin. Digital platforms can help busy small business owners like Tin and Noy seamlessly manage their operations so they can focus on serving their customers. 

Despite opening just one year ago, Tin and Noy’s business has already taken off, with the help of the digital platform offered by Goodfynd. “We bought a truck, and as we were driving across the country coming from Washington state, we thought, how do we do events? The biggest thing that helped us get into the industry was having Goodfynd.” Accion Venture Lab invested in Goodfynd, a Virginia-based startup that serves food trucks and mobile vendors in the United States

Goodfynd’s all-in-one digital platform connects food truck owners to their customers and provides an end-to-end payment system for mobile businesses, including online ordering, point of sale, invoicing, instant payouts, and inventory management. “It’s really important to us to make sure that every time a [food] truck owner goes out to interact with customers, that they’re able to do it at locations where they can actually make money,” says Sofiat Abdulrazaaq, Goodfynd Co-Founder & CEO.  

“We apply for events, set up our schedule, and our customers can order and pay online. Goodfynd does all that for us. It’s so simple to use. What we’ve seen is that Goodfynd has the best integration of everything we need. It works better for food trucks than other platforms,” says Tin. 

A small business poised for growth 

Yummie Food Truck is already booked for most of the spring and summer season, scheduled to serve their hearty Thai dishes to festival goers, office workers on lunch break, and apartment communities. With steady business, Tin and Noy can invest in building a sustainable enterprise. Yummie Food Kitchen runs on solar and battery power, giving them an eco-friendly energy source to run their refrigerator and point of sale system. “We really love this truck and the battery concept of it. We don’t have to worry about fuel, and it doesn’t make any noise,” says Tin.  

Next, Tin and Noy plan to expand their business by adding another food truck to their fleet. Their second truck will serve Asian fusion dishes and is named the Gedunk Food Truck after the Navy slang term for a snack. They’re hiring employees to expand their team, and their children chip in, too. “Both of our children help out in the truck, especially during festivals they’ll come out. My son loves to be the cashier, and my daughter loves making drinks.” 

With access to digital and financial tools, small business owners can strengthen their enterprises, unlock growth, and achieve financial stability.  

Learn more about how Accion works with financial providers and fintech companies to connect small business owners to responsible financial services so they can benefit from the digital economy and build resilient livelihoods. 

Yummie Thai Kitchen food truck in Virginia, USA
Yummie Thai Kitchen’s colorful, cheerful design frequently attracts new customers. “It’s our appeal. We realized that if you invest in the wrap, people come and talk about our truck.”

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